Posts Tagged ‘PPACA’

Analysis of proposed health reform policies

prez_seal_stethHealth reform has remained a hot topic throughout the recent months leading up to the presidential election. Here is a breakdown and analysis of a few proposals put forth during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.

Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can agree there are many aspects of The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that have mitigated the current health care crisis. The law has mandated more comprehensive coverage of health plans, for example, dependents must be eligible up to age 26, there are no more lifetime limits Read more…

Rising healthcare industry brings stand-alone tail coverage to mind

March 19, 2015 Leave a comment

money_healthWhile technology, energy and other industry sectors often capture the headlines in the financial press and in the media, health care companies are a major economic force within the U.S. economy and growing. According to The World Bank, health care spending between 2010 and 2014 accounted for nearly 18% of U.S. GDP. This number is only expected to grow in the decade ahead. While some have argued that the PPACA will slow this trend, I find little evidence that it will do so in any meaningful fashion. All of this means that health care dollars spent in the U.S. will claim an increasing portion of our GDP. Read more…

Blue Cross of MA expands pay-per-performance system to PPO markets

dr_patientThe spotlight in local health care news this week shines on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and its continued efforts toward performance-based payment reform for doctors. This system that pays doctors based on how well they care for patients will expand to include more than one million members. For patients, this should mean a decrease in office visits and unnecessary testing, and an increase in individualized health management and post-procedural care.

Currently, a fee-for-service system accounts for 66 percent of the Massachusetts market. Specialists agree, this traditional practice – one where doctors are paid per patient visit, needle prick and procedure – encourages unnecessary testing and overbooking appointments, often under prioritizing patient health. Read more…

House votes to repeal Affordable Care Act

obamacare_repealSince the law originally passed in 2010, many Americans have been closely watching the changing political environment to see what changes happen with the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). Employers are watching Washington with an invested interest to see what rules they will need to comply with and which rules might change.

The most recent midterm election resulted in a swing of control to the GOP. Clients are asking what impact this change might have on attempts to repeal the ACA. Regardless of the GOP’s dominance in Congress and in the House of Representatives, WGA believes that Obamacare is not going away anytime soon. Read more…

Workforce classification: IRS guidelines critical for review

February 17, 2015 Leave a comment

time_hardhatFrom tax codes to wage and hour regulations, employers must be extremely diligent when it comes to classifying their workforce. Business owners need to have a clear understanding of what determines whether the individuals providing services are employees or independent contractors, and as the tax season approaches, it’s a good time for businesses to review the IRS guidelines that distinguish between these two types of workers.
The following criteria should be used to classify independent contractors and employees:

  1. Behavioral Control:
    • If an employer trains and directs work, including hours of work, what tools or equipment to be used, specific tasks to be performed and how the work is to be done, the worker is likely an employee. If the worker can set his or her own hours and works with little or no direction or training, he or she is probably an independent contractor.

    Read more…

Back from the polls – Election 2014 and what it means for the ACA

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment

ppacaLast week’s events in Washington D.C. may affect PPACA as we now know it.

Most notable was the fact that Election Day turned most of the country into a sea of red leaving pundits to speculate on the future of PPACA. Will it prevail? Even with a GOP-controlled Congress, getting any legislation to completely overhaul PPACA through the President would be wishful thinking. Perhaps the most disconcerting is the Supreme Court’s recent decision to hear a new challenge to PPACA. Here we go again….what could this mean for employers? While it’s unlikely that we’ll see many fundamental changes for employer-provided benefit plans, it doesn’t mean there won’t be minor tweaks to the law and how its provisions are applied.

We had a couple of minor but unexpected changes already reminding us that the law’s provisions can change on a dime. First, after employers were scrambling to comply, it was announced Read more…