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February 2011

February 25, 2011 by  
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LSA HEADING BACK TO D.C. FOR MEETINGS WITH OREGON LAWMAKERS
Michael Welch RHU, REBC, an agent with Larry Sherwood & Associates, recently met with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to share ideas about Healthcare Reform. Mike's goal was to discuss solutions that can affect how Healthcare Reform is implemented and measured, while keeping provisions for health promotion, quality outcomes and cost containment. Meetings were scheduled with both Oregon senators (Wyden & Merkley), and all 5 congressman. We'll inform you of the meeting outcomes in a future newsletter.
 
COMPLIANCE WITH IRS NON-DISCRIMINATION RULES DELAYED
If you sponsor an insured, non-grandfathered group health plan, there is some good news! The IRS has officially delayed the effective date of the impending nondiscrimination requirements for insured plans until after regulations or other administrative guidance can be issued (IRS Notice 2011-1). In addition, the IRS anticipates that any future guidance will not apply until the first plan year beginning some specified time period after issuance of the guidelines. The nondiscrimination mandate for insured plans is part of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The rules were to have been effective for calendar year plans on January 1, 2011, but this guidance gives plans a bit more breathing room. Plans offering different contribution schedules, "classed" benefits, or differing eligibility requirements are specifically impacted. If you have questions about how the nondiscrimination rules could affect your plan, contact Larry Sherwood & Associates.

IRS Notice 2011-1

 
 
JUDGE RULES OBAMA HEALTHCARE LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL
A Florida judge dealt President Obama's healthcare overhaul another legal blow earlier this month. The ruling that the entire law is unconstitutional due to a requirement in the legislation that all Americans obtain health insurance starting in 2014. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson's decision goes beyond a separate ruling by a federal judge in Virginia who ruled the individual mandate “unconstitutional”.

While the ultimate fate of the individual mandate and possibly President Obama's signature legislation seems destined to ascend to the Supreme Court, Republicans are pushing forward with their own "dismantle and deny" strategy.

Judge rules Obama's health care law unconstitutional

Here's how GOP wants to 'prune' health care law

 
 
 
Larry Sherwood & Associates provides benefits consulting & insurance services to over 300 companies just like yours.
 

December 2010

December 23, 2010 by  
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New 2011 W2 Tax Reporting Requirement

Beginning in 2011 employers will be required to report the value of health benefits to the IRS.  This means payroll systems beginning February 2011 will need to be able to calculate and report partial year values for terminating employees.  The attached ruling from the IRS does a nice job of explaining the provision.
 

Happy Holidays From Larry Sherwood & Associates

A year full of big healthcare changes is behind us.  We look forward to another interesting year. 
 
Best wishes for a healthy and enjoyable holiday season and a bright 2011.
 
From all of us at Larry Sherwood & Associates, Happy Holidays!

 

November 2010

November 30, 2010 by  
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A Simple Guide To Healthcare Reform

"Health Reform Hits Main Street" is a short cartoon presented by the Kaiser Family Foundation that takes the 2,500 pages of the healthcare reform law and explains it in a simple and humorous way. While far from comprehensive, it does a nice job of outlining the issues we face.

Healthcare Reform:  Prove It Works And Medicare Will Pay
Recent polls show that roughly half of Americans favor repealing some or all of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), presumably because they believe the law will do little to lower the cost of healthcare.  However, there are actually some elements of the law that may lead us to that end.  Buried in the new law is millions of dollars for funding Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). In plain English, CER is a concept of paying for medical services that are proven cost effective.  This article is a nice summary of a concept that holds real promise for reducing the cost of care.
 

Introducing the New LSA Website!!
Take a look at our new website!  It was designed with "you" in mind.  With our new website you can:
 
 - Research and apply for Individual & Family Insurance online
 - Look up doctors and facilities for your insurance companies
 - Find answers to many of your insurance questions
 - Access past LSA Newsletters
 - And much more information
 
Take a quick "test drive" by clicking the link below.