More New Webinars in Montana and Oregon

We just received approval six new insurance CE webinars in Montana and Oregon–check out our updated Webinar Schedule!

  • Cyber Security (approved for 3 hours in MT and OR)
  • Insurance Fraud, Part 1 (approved for 2 hours in MT)
  • Insurance Fraud, Part 2 (approved for 2 hours in MT)
  • Liability Insurance (approved for 3 hours in MT)
  • Renting Cars (approved for 1 hour in MT and OR)
  • Insuring Mother Nature (approved for 3 hours in MT and OR)

Webinars in December:

  • 2015 Montana Insurance Legislative Updates (new!)
  • Ethical Dilemmas (new!)

Webinars in January:

  • Renting Cars (new!)
  • Cyber Security (new!)
  • 2015 Montana Insurance Legislative Updates

Webinars in February:

  • Ethics and E&O: A Professional Relationship
  • Liability Insurance (new!)
  • Flood Insurance Training Course (meets FEMA requirements)

5 Things BUSINESSES Need to Know About ObamaCare

As a follow-up to the blog I wrote earlier in the week (6 Things INDIVIDUALS Need to Know about ObamaCare), hare are 5 things businesses need to know about the Employer Mandate (“employer requirements”) under the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA–commonly referred to as ObamaCare of the Affordable Care Act [ACA]):

(1)  Only employers defined as “large employers” will be subject to a shared responsibility payment (a tax) if they don’t provide their employees with health insurance.  For purposes of the PPACA, a full time employee works 30 or more hours a week.

  • A large employer is one with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs)
  • A full-time equivalent employee is NOT a person – it’s the number of hours a full-time employee works in a calendar year (2,080 hours), i.e., 40 hours x 52 weeks = 2,080
    • If the total number of hours worked by all of employees of a business in a year (including full-time and part-time employee) is 208,000, the employer has 100 full-time equivalent employees
    • It doesn’t matter how many of those hours are worked by full-timers or part-timers

(2) The shared responsibility payment will be imposed on large employers under two circumstances:

  • The employer does NOT provide health insurance approved under the PPACA to its employees AND at least one of those employees purchases coverage through an exchange and receives a premium tax-credit
  • The employer DOES provide health insurance approved under the PPACA to its employees  AND at least one of those employees purchases coverage through an exchange and receives a premium tax-credit

The shared responsibility payment is lower for large employers that DO provide coverage … and it’s calculated differently.

(3) The Employer Mandate has NOT been deferred or postponed.  However, three of its provisions have been delayed.  The IRS published Notice 2013-45 to explain how the delay works and refers to the process as transitional relief.

(4) Small employers are eligible for tax credits if they provide approved health insurance to their employees–and have been receiving them for some time (the PPACA was enacted in March 2010–at which time its provisions began being phased in).  Eligible employers include those:

  • With up to 25 full-time equivalent employees
  • The average annual salary of employees is no more than $50,000
  • The employer pays at least 50% of the employee-only cost of health insurance

Beginning in 2014, the tax credit for eligible small businesses will increase from 35% to 50% (for non-profits, it will increase from 25% to 35%).

(5) Here are some Web links for more information about how the PPACA affects businesses:

You don’t have to be an insurance agent to attend the A.D. Banker webinars I’m presenting on the Affordable Care Act … although you do have to pay for the presentations and CE filing fees. Cost: $27. Click this link for more information about A.D. Banker’s PPACA webinar. Upon arriving at the A.D. Banker website, click on Webinar and choose Health Insurance and the PPACA.

Click this link f you’d like to subscribe to my mailing list to be notified of about other webinars and presentations. I plan to begin presenting informational webinars about insurance to the general public before January. A nominal fee will be charged for these presentation (i.e., $5 – $10)

 

6 Things INDIVIDUALS Need to Know About ObamaCare

You’re hearing all kinds of things about health care reform, commonly referred to as ObamaCare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [PPACA] or Affordable Care Act [ACA]).  But how much of what you’re hearing is TRUE?  In addition to misinformation being passed around, scammers have been cropping up at an alarming rate.  Here is a list of 6 things you need to know about ObamaCare if you’re an INDIVIDUAL:

(1) Unless you’re exempt under law, if you don’t have federally approved health insurance in place by January 1, 2014, you’ll be subject to a “shared responsibility payment.”  Technically, this payment is NOT a fine or penalty–it’s a tax payable when you file your federal income tax return.  [This provision of the PPACA is referred to as the Individual Mandate.]

(2) If you have insurance in place right now, the following plans meet requirements of “approved” health insurance under the PPACA beginning in 2014:

    • Medicare Part A
    • Medicaid, CHIP
    • TRICARE
    • Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)
    • any government plan
    • any Indian tribal government plan
    • any health plan offered in the individual or group marketplaces

The following plans will NOT be considered “approved” health insurance under the PPACA beginning in 2014:  Medicare and TRICARE supplements, long-term care, disability, dental or vision plans (when issued without health insurance), accident-only, and workers’ compensation.

(3) The shared responsibility payment for individuals is the greater of an established amount per person (a family maximum applies) or a percentage of the family’s household income. For example, in 2014, each adult will be required to pay $95, each child will be required to pay $47.50, the family maximum is $285, and the percentage of family income is 1%.  These figures increase until 2016, after which they’ll be adjusted by annual cost of living increases. In 2016, they’ll be $695 per adult, $347.50 per child, $2,085 family maximum, and 2.5% of family income.

(4) Exempt Americans (those who are not subject to the shared responsibility payment) include:

  • individuals who are NOT required to file an income tax return based on income
  • undocumented immigrants
  • individuals serving time in jail or prison
  • members of an Indian tribe
  • members of a religion that is opposed to receiving health care (meaning the religion AND members are opposed)
  • individuals whose employee-only cost of group health insurance is more than 9.5% of their household incomes

(5) Beginning in 2014, the manner in which health insurance is rated will change.  NO health insurance rates may be based on a person’s health status or medical condition(s)–meaning pre-existing conditions exclusions and limits will no longer be permitted by law. Only four elements may be used when establishing premium rates beginning in 2014:  age, the geographic location of residence, tobacco use, and whether enrollment is for an individual or a family.

(6) Premium tax-credits (i.e., federally approved reductions in the cost of health insurance) will be made available to Americans who buy health insurance from one of the Health Insurance Exchanges IF the following eligibility requirements are met:

    • the individual is not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, employer-sponsored health insurance, a grandfathered plan, and a few other types of coverage (a few exceptions apply)
    • household income must fall between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL); in 2013, the FPL for a single individual is $11,490 and for a family of four it’s $23,550

Individuals purchasing insurance directly from an agent, as opposed to through an exchange, are NOT eligible for premium tax credits.

(7) Fraudsters are already capitalizing on consumers’ lack of familiarity with the provisions of the PPACA and people are being defrauded EVERY day as the deadline for compliance approaches. Here are some links for you to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how to avoid becoming the victim of health insurance fraud as the PPACA rolls out:

P.S. I’m qualified to talk about health insurance because I’ve worked for more than 30 years in the insurance industry as a licensed agent, consultant, instructor, and education provider. In fact, after selling the second of my two insurance agencies in 2011, I began working full-time as a course developer and writer, putting together insurance courses for continuing education and pre-licensing purposes. My clients are insurance companies, professional insurance organizations, and national and regional insurance education providers. I’ve developed and written several continuing education courses on the subject of the PPACA, including a two-hour webinar for A.D. Banker and Company that I present on a monthly basis.

P.P.S.  Check in later in the week to learn about what businesses need to know about ObamaCare.

You don’t have to be an insurance agent to attend the A.D. Banker webinars I’m presenting on the Affordable Care Act … although you do have to pay for the presentations and CE filing fees. Cost: $27. Click this link for more information about A.D. Banker’s PPACA webinar. Upon arriving at the A.D. Banker website, click on Webinar and choose Health Insurance and the PPACA.

Click this link f you’d like to subscribe to my mailing list to be notified of about other webinars and presentations. I plan to begin presenting informational webinars about insurance to the general public before January. A nominal fee will be charged for these presentation (i.e., $5 – $10)

Free Webinar Presentations

I’ve partnered with  my client, A.D. Banker and Company, to develop and present a series of free webinars to preview new insurance continuing education courses, many of which I wrote.

The first of the webinars, which I presented on January 24th, was a preview of the two-hour insurance continuing education course, The PPACA: What Consumers Need to Know, which discusses highlights of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–more commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act.  We’ve scheduled repeat performances at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 7th and Thursday, February 21st.

In March, I’ll presenting webinars on the subject of insurance fraud, the first of which is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 7th.  More details about these individual webinars is contained in my Events Calendar, which appears at the bottom of your screen.