Economies of Scale for Small Businesses

sip-embIn late June, the Department of Labor introduced final rules on Association Health Plans (AHP), which will allow bonafide associations to offer healthcare plans to member companies. While we had hoped for a different approach to regulating these plans, association health plans will be regulated by states as MEWAs.

According to the final rules, an association that wants to establish a healthcare plan must already exist for another purpose. In other words, an association cannot be formed for the exclusive purpose of offering healthcare plans to its members. Another stipulation is that new self-funded association health plans cannot be established until April 1, 2019.

Association Health Plans will be exempt from the federal mandate on essential health benefits, but will remain consistent with popular Obamacare rules such as coverage of pre-existing conditions and bans on lifetime limits.

While reserve requirements will vary from state to state, we expect that these plans will be quite costly to establish and closely monitored by state regulators. Nonetheless, for large associations with significant cash reserves, we expect this option to make it possible for thousands of small businesses to lower their cost of employee health benefits.

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Any Company Can Walk for Wellness

With most employers paying at least a third more for employee health benefits than they did just five years ago, it has become obvious that the only way to slow this trend is to keep people healthy so that they stay out of the health care system.

In an effort to get people on a path to better health, more and more organizations are emphasizing the benefits of walking. Ease, convenience and little or no start-up cost make walking a great way to incorporate wellness and fitness into the workday. Here are a few things to think about if walking sounds good to you… Continue reading