Health & Benefits

Health-Care Law’s ‘Wellness’ visit might not be free

As a cost conscious health-care consumer, some caution is called for, on your part, where those seemingly “free” annual checkups or well-child visits are concerned. A young mother recently learned this lesson the hard way and shared her story with us. This mother took her 10-year-old twins to their pediatrician’s office in January for their annual wellness checkups. A few weeks later, when she

Employer Mandate Delayed Again

The Obama administration delayed the implementation of the so-called employer mandate by a year, initially pushing the requirements off until 2015, past the midterm elections. However, in what is seemingly a concession to business, Treasury Department officials announced on Monday, February 10th that the administration would not enforce the rules across the board next year.

The Need for Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance, often called “DI” or “disability income” insurance, is a form of insurance that insures the beneficiary's earned income against the risk that a disability may impede a person’s ability to complete the core functions of his or her work. For example, the inability to focus or maintain composure due to psychological disorders or an injury, illness or condition that causes physical impairment or incapacity to work. Benefits

Wellness Programs

Wellness programs are being implemented in large and small companies across the country, and the results are positively impacting the bottom line. “Research is showing that it’s more cost-effective to invest in preventive health practices, such as screenings, immunizations, health risk appraisals, behavioral coaching, and health awareness/education, rather than spending resources exclusively on the small minority of employees/dependents

SHOP Delay

The delay applies to the federal-run SHOP exchanges in almost three dozen states. With a few exceptions, SHOPs in states running their own exchanges have had a smoother rollout.

Drop Dead Deadline

It is common for the Human Resources person at a workplace to pass out new forms every year during open enrollment, requiring every employee to indicate their personal information and that of their spouse and children, as well as the health plan they are choosing, the primary care physician, etc. It seems that there is always a question that cannot be answered immediately so these forms are set aside to complete later. Sometimes, later is after the deadline

Only a 95 Dollar Fee

One component of the recently enacted Affordable Healthcare Act, is the penalty on those who chose not to buy health insurance. These penalties have been referenced frequently of late, usually in the following way; “It’s only a $95 fee, right?” It seems that this is what the popular media would have everyone to believe; however there is a little more it than that. These are the rates for the next three years, which will continue to rise in years ahead:

Guideline Requirement for all Employers by October 1

As your trusted insurance advisor, The Merriam Agency is committed to keeping you up-to-date with the latest health care reform information. Per the U.S. Department of Labor, Exchange Notices must be given to all employees by October 1, 2013. This requirement applies both to employers offering group health insurance and those that do not. All employers must provide their employees with a notice of coverage options available through the Exchanges which open October 1, 2013. This is regardless

A Country Divided

In the 30 years of my professional career in risk management and insurance, I have never come across an issue as divisive as the debate over National health insurance. I will admit, right up front, that I am an opponent to the idea. Categorically, I am one of those conservatives who are prone to side with Thomas Jefferson who was quoted as saying, “The role of government is to do for society what society cannot do for itself.” Likewise, I am apt to quote what was printed in the monthly periodical

We Are Ready

For the past 3 years, the health insurance industry has been working to meet the requirements of the Patient Protective Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The intricacies of the over 2,000 page document can be staggering. Part of our job is to assist both employers and individuals in your navigation through this new health care reality, as well as with the decision-making process that lies ahead. Even prior to the implementation of the PPACA, the Merriam Agency has had access