Friday, April 27, 2012

UHC.TV Employer Toolkit

UnitedHealthcare has released the UHC.TV employer toolkit to help inform your employees about the new interactive UHC.TV. The employer toolkit is available from the Communication Resources Center. There you will find posters, email messages, fliers, and other helpful items to inspire your employees to view health-related programs on UHC.TV.

UHC Latest Innovations

UnitedHealthcare(UHC) is advancing health care through technology and other creative strategies by presenting the spring edition or year-to-date summary of Innovations Spotlight. Take a look for great ideas and strategies.

Webinar on new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)

Senn Dunn invites you to participate in an Assurex Global webinar on May 24 from noon to 1:30 PM EST.

Reserve your seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/606425008
The DOL, IRS and HHS have released final regulations on the creation and distribution of the new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) employers will be required to provide to plan participants. The new documents will need to be provided by some employers beginning in September of 2012. This webinar will focus on the employer’s responsibilities including content requirements, distribution rules and more.

Please note: times for AG webinars vary and are listed for the Eastern time zone.

Presented by: Bob Radecki, President, Benefit Comply, LLC
Bob Radecki has more than 25 years’ experience in the HR and employee benefits industry helping employers deal with difficult benefit and compliance matters. Previously, Bob founded and served as President of A.E. Roberts Company, a nationally recognized compliance consulting and training firm. He has served as the principal HIPAA consultant to a number of health insurance companies, and is recognized as a leading expert on a variety of benefit compliance issues including COBRA, FMLA, Health Reform and more. Bob has been the featured speaker at numerous industry events and conferences, and has published a number of articles concerning various compliance issues.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BCBSNC Women's Preventive Care Under ACA

Impacts to Benefit Plans and Quotes

Date: 04/23/2012

BCBSNC has implemented system changes necessary to quote group plans that comply with the Women’s Preventive Care requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

On August 1, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) issued detailed guidelines for group health plans and health insurance issuers relating to coverage of preventive services under ACA.

Women’s Preventive Care Overview
Here are some key points to know about this provision:
  • The guidelines specifically address preventive health services that must be offered to women at no additional cost, such as:
    • well-woman visits
    • screening for gestational diabetes
    • human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older
    • sexually-transmitted infection counseling
    • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling
    • FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling
    • breastfeeding equipment and counseling
    • domestic violence screening and counseling
       
  • Please see this list of new benefits covered at 100% as we know it today. BCBSNC will provide updates if additional guidance is received and covered benefits change. For the most up-to-date information, including additional detail and any limitations, see www.bcbsnc.com/preventive.
  • All non-grandfathered health plans, both insured and self-insured, will need to include these services without cost sharing for plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012.
  • Religious groups who meet certain criteria may exempt the contraceptive benefits. The “religious employers” exemption is summarized on Healthcare.gov and HRSA’s website. If you have a group that meets this criteria and wishes to claim this exemption, please contact your BCBSNC representative.

BCBSNC New Benefit Focus Extraction Hour

Effective April 25, 2012, clients will have an additional 2 hours to submit daily eBenefitsNow information.  This change provides additional time to enter membership data for overnight processing in the system.

Data must be submitted online by 4:45 pm, Monday through Friday, in order to meet the daily extraction deadline.  Our previous daily deadline was 2:45 pm.

If you have additional questions, call the agent contact center.

Friday, April 20, 2012

IRS proposes regulations on comparative effectiveness research fees of ACA

EBIA reports that the IRS has issued proposed regulations regarding the fees imposed by health care reform on health insurers and on sponsors of self-insured health plans to support clinical effectiveness research by the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (sometimes referred to as “CER” or “PCOR” fees).

The fees apply only to policy or plan years ending after October 1, 2012 and before October 1, 2019 (i.e., for seven full plan years). For years ending before October 1, 2013, the fee is $1.00 times the average number of covered lives under the policy or plan. For later years, the fee rate increases to $2.00, subject to adjustment based on changes in per capita National Health Expenditures as reported by the Treasury.

Key points from the regulations include:
  • PCOR fees apply to any accident or health insurance policy issued with respect to U.S. residents
  • Plans are not subject to fees if they cover only excepted benefits (also excluded are EAPs, disease-management, and wellness programs)
  • Under the proposed regulations, plan sponsors of fully insured plans are not responsible for the fees; only plan insurers are
  • PCOR fees are to be reported and paid once a year, even though they are reported on IRS Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return)
  • Reports and payments for plan years that end in a calendar year are due by July 31 of the following year
Self-funded plans may use any of three methods to determine the average number of lives covered:
  • Actual count method - based on lives covered on each day during the plan year
  • Form 5500 method - based on number of participants at beginning and end of year as reported on the 5500
  • Snapshot method - based on lives covered on one day during each quarter of the plan year
For more infomation, please view the Federal Register announcement.

Friday, April 13, 2012

UHC health reform videos available

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has provided the following videos on health care reform:
Check out the reform video library to view the full collection of videos.

UHC reminder on new paperless dental explanation of benefits (EOBs)

Beginning Nov. 30, 2011, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) now delivers Dental Explanation of Benefits (EOB) electronically at myuhc.com.

This feature is available to subscribers who are registered on myuhc.com® AND who have both a UnitedHealthcare Medical and UnitedHealthcare Dental plan. Subscribers will be asked to update/validate their email addresses on myuhc.com and will be given the option to ‘Go Green’ by opting into electronic Dental EOBs.

Please note subscribers will continue to have the option to receive paper EOBs.

The paperless EOBs does not affect:
  • Those with a standalone UnitedHealthcare Dental Plan
  • Private Label Customers
  • Non-myuhc.com users

UHC health and wellness video on stress relief

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) released the following video on stress relief in their health and wellness e-newsletter.  Please feel free to share with your employees as part of your wellness program.