Guest Blog: Recent Developments in Healthcare Reform
Rachel A. Sapoznik of Sapoznik Insurance writes a guest blog post for Kaufman Rossin.
As we look ahead to the new year, let’s first look back at some of the recent changes in healthcare reform. It is important, now more than ever, to keep up-to-date on any developments that may affect you, your family or your business. The following are a few key developments:
Rachel A. Sapoznik of Sapoznik Insurance
- Transition Policy for Grandfathered Plans: Despite reassurances of being able to keep their old plans, many policyholders found their plans to be canceled. On November 14, 2013, the White House announced it would issue a transition policy, but several states have rejected it, including California, Washington and New York. If you live in one of these states and have had your plan canceled, you will have to shop for a new plan or face a possible penalty.
- Delay of Small Business Health Options Program (SHOPs): The SHOP functions of the online health insurance exchange have been delayed until November 2014 for those states that had defaulted to a federally-run exchange. If you are a small business located in one of these states, you may still enroll for 2014 SHOP coverage offline through “direct enrollment” with an agent, broker or insurer offering certified SHOP plans.
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): FSAs are tax-advantaged accounts made up of pre-tax portions of employee earnings set aside to cover qualified expenses throughout the year. This provides a tax advantage, but unused funds are lost at the end of the plan year. However, employers may now allow FSA participants to have up to $500 in unused funds rolled over into the next plan year. This applies only if the plan does not include a grace period in which the participants have two extra months to use their remaining FSA funds.
- Reinsurance Program Exemption: The reinsurance program is intended to help stabilize insurance market premiums for the first three years of exchange operation (2014 – 2016). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a rule to exempt certain self-insured plans from being subject to this reinsurance fee in 2015 and 2016.
As healthcare reform continues to unfold over the next few months and years, businesses and individuals will want to keep an eye on future developments, both at the federal and state levels. You can visit healthcare.gov, dol.gov and whitehouse.gov for more information on health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or contact Sapoznik Insurance at 305-948-8887.