Now that the Supreme Court has ruled… what’s next?

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled... what's next?The individual mandate will stand as a “tax” versus commerce and Affordable Care Act will move ahead.  With all the fanfare Employers are beginning to plan for their next steps.

Some next steps Employers need to be thinking about:

1). Review your benefit offerings to make sure they meet the guidelines of essential coverage.

2). Watch your mail for notice of the MLR rebate and determine how you will distribute if your
plan qualifies.

3). Confirm with your carrier that your plan has been amended to comply with the Women’s Preventive Care provisions.  Must comply as plans renew beginning 8/1/12.

4.) Be on the lookout for your new Summary of Benefits and Coverage. Carriers are required to provide these for open enrollments/plan years beginning 9/23/12.

5.) If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) you will need to check the allowable maximum. It is now restricted to $2,500 per person up to $5,000 per family.

6.) Employers who submit 250 or more W2 for 2012 must include the value of health care coverage in box 12 on employees W2. Check with your payroll vendor to make sure this amount can be tracked and reported.

Looking further ahead 2014 marks the deadline for many of the major provisions in Obama Care. Individual mandates begin, wellness initiatives are strengthened, automatic enrollment is mandated, waiting periods are restricted, penalties for NOT providing coverage begin, exchanges roll out, pre-existing provisions are eliminated and premium subsidies for lower income individuals become available.

Wallace Welch and Willingham is monitoring the events as they unfold and will keep you up to date on steps towards compliance. We welcome your questions and will be happy to assist.

This legislation still has many voids and unanswered issues. We anticipate seeing significant clarification and revision.  The 2012 presidential election could also have significant impact on the Affordable Care Act. So, for some employers “wait and see” may still be the best next step.

April is National Donate Life Month

Here are some interesting facts from the US Department of Health and Human Services regarding organ donations:

  • In 2010, 62% of living donors were women. The statistic is reversed for deceased donation.
  • In 2010, 67% of all deceased donors were White, 16% were Black, 13% Hispanic and 2.3% Asian.
  • As of December 2011, the national waiting list was made up of 45% White, 29% Black, 18% Hispanic, and 7% Asian.
  • In 2007, (the most recent data) there were almost 2.5 million deaths in the U.S. Imagine if every one of those persons
  • had donated.
  • Currently, more than 100 million people in the U.S. are signed up to be a donor—sign up and join them.

The Gap Continues to Widen

Right now, there are more than enough people waiting for an organ to fill a large football stadium twice over

April Blog Graph

You can help by registering as an organ donor, bone marrow donor, or donate blood.

US Department of Health and Human Serviceshttp://organdonor.gov

National Marrow Donor Program http://marrow.org

Florida Blood Services www.fbsblood.org

 

What can we do as a company?

If  your company would like to be a Workplace Partnership for Life for organ donation registrations, please contact the US Department of Health Resources and Services Administration at the below address or visit their website:

Workplace Partnership for Life
Attn: Venus Walker
Division of Transplantation
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 12C-05
Rockville, MD 20857
E-mail: vwalker@hrsa.gov
Fax: (301) 594-6095
http://organdonor.gov/howhelp/workplace.html

What’s your nutrition IQ?

This month is National Nutrition Month. In honor of this month, I thought we could test your nutrition IQ. Below is a short quiz about fruits and veggies.

Check your answers below!! Good luck.nutrition iq

  1. What vegetable has the highest content of beta carotene of all vegetables?
  2. What fruit do Americans eat most often?
  3. What vegetable is shaped like a spear and has a lot of folic acid, potassium and fiber?
  4. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid, how many servings of veggies should you eat each day?
  5. Tomatoes are very high in the carotenoid lycopene. Eating foods with carotenoids can lower your risk of ______?
  6. What is the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside?
  7. What has more fiber than most other fruits and veggies?
  8. What has the most antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables?
  9. What is the best vitamin C-rich vegetable you could eat?
  10. What is the best iron-rich vegetable available?

How did you score?  Find your answers here