Obama allows two-year extension for canceled health plans under ACA
The Obama administration has allowed individuals whose plans were terminated under the Affordable Care Act to be renewed for two years rather than one, according to a news report from Crain’s. This additional extension on health plans that don’t meet ACA’s minimum coverage requirements could affect more than 1 million plans.
The new proposal allows individuals to maintain these ACA non-compliant plans until October 1, 2016.
In-depth report details how tech propels wellness
With emerging technologies, employers can nudge their employees toward healthier behaviors. A new report in Employee Benefit News explores how leading-edge tech—including virtual fitness trainers and clinics—can boost wellness ROI for employers.
For example, Anthem—leveraging stats that 74% of American adults want, but cannot afford or accommodate, a personal trainer—has partnered with an online trainer vendor for its members to access and get customized exercise regimens and nutritional coaching.
Another wellness vendor, HealthStat, has rolled out a new targeted research system that can identify employees’ level of readiness for behavior change as well as how to best engage them.
The 3 Rs of health insurance
It’s time for “reading, writing and ‘rithmetic” to move aside: The traditional “3 Rs” are getting a makeover under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund.
The new 3 Rs—risk adjustment, reinsurance and risk corridors—are indeed “having the intended effect of keeping premiums down in 2014 and moderating likely increases in 2015,” the organization finds.
Risk adjustment, as the name implies, adjusts for health status differences in plans’ enrollees by redistributing funds from plans with healthier members to plans with sicker ones. “Such transfers could occur within or across health plan tiers in the exchanges (bronze, silver, gold, platinum),” TCF reports. “All the redistributed monies come from insurance companies in the marketplaces.”
Reinsurance, lasting until 2016, is budget neutral, according to TCF, and risk corridors could actually help the Treasury turn a profit. The risk corridor program “collects money from plans sold in the new marketplaces with unexpectedly high gains and redistributes them to plans with unexpectedly high losses,” the report reads. If the government collects more than it has to pay out, it keeps the balance—a scenario that the Congressional Budget Office concludes is likely, and could add $8 billion to federal coffers.