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Mar 30
2009

March 30 2009
Utah Insurance Department Provides Information on Recently Enacted Federal COBRA and Utah mini-COBRA Laws
We've received numerous calls over the past few weeks regarding the recent legislative changes. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the information in the link below. For those employers that are Utah mini-COBRA eligible (20 or less employees) it appears that the insurer will be required to notify employees of additional second notice. Those of you who fall under federal COBRA (over 20 employees) have been working with us over the past couple weeks to ensure we are sending out the second notice to the correct employees. These notices will be going out in the coming week. http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204505,00.html
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Mar 18
2009

March 18 2009
COBRA Law update
According to the most recent update we received from the Department of Labor we should have received the official model notices for the new COBRA regulations yesterday March 17th. The model notices have yet to be released. For your information, once the model notices are released the new law states that we have 30 days to get the notices sent out to qualified individuals.
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Mar 13
2009

March 13 2009
Stimulus Package Will Contain Federal Subsidies for COBRA Coverage
Information in this article is based on a Proposal Under Consideration. We anticipate the President approving it in mid-February. Due to the current economic crisis, Congress is considering an economic stimulus proposal that includes federal subsidies for COBRA health care continuation coverage. They are looking into expanding the length of COBRA coverage for those who have lost their jobs and are COBRA eligible. Although a proposal like this would surely make it possible for more individuals to continue with their health care coverage, it would also increase the administrative time and cost for employers. With the current economic status companies are facing, added costs and administrative burdens to employers must be minimized.
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Jan 06
2009

January 06 2009
ADA Amendments Reinstate Original Broad Purpose of the Law
Both Houses of Congress have overwhelmingly passed and President Bush has signed into law the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. This legislation addresses court and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interpretations of the Americans with Disabilities Act that have, over the years, narrowed certain ADA definitions and in general made application of the ADA more restrictive than was originally intended.
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Oct 03
2008

October 03 2008
IRS Issues HSA FAQs on a Wide Range of Issues
The Internal Revenue Service has issued a set of frequently asked questions, with answers, on health savings accounts (HSAs). The 42 FAQs included in Notice 2008-59 cover a wide range of topics, including who is eligible for an HSA, and issues related to high deductible health plans (HDHPs), HSA contributions and HSA distributions. This article summarizes some of the clarifications found in Notice 2008-59.
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Jul 13
2008

July 13 2008
Growth in Health Care Spending Projected to Slow, But Still Exceed Inflation
Total health care spending is projected to reach 19.5 percent of the gross domestic product by the year 2017, up from the 16 percent it represented in 2006, according to health tracking trends published in Health Affairs. The report projects private heath care spending will grow at an average rate of 6.7 percent from 2007-2017, growth that continues to outpace inflation, but which represents some relief for employers and other private sector payers, compared with the doubledigit increases seen in recent years.
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Apr 08
2008

April 08 2008
FMLA Expansion Targets Military Families
For the first time since it was enacted in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been expanded. The changes, which were part of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, apply to military families. Employers should familiarize themselves with the provisions, since part of the changes took effect immediately upon enactment, which was when President Bush signed the measure on January 28, 2008. The
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Jan 04
2008

January 04 2008
Employee Weight Loss Can Shed Dollars From Your Health Plan Spending
Make it easy for employees to get screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol/triglyceride and blood sugar levels. Make sure your health plan offers generous coverage for these tests. Also occasionally provide for free onsite screenings which, like the HRA, provide employees the chance to monitor their readings without having to see a doctor.
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Oct 15
2007

October 15 2007
Know When to Offer COBRA…And When Not To
Employers with 20 or more employees and offering group health coverage must offer a continuation of that coverage under CORBA, to covered individuals who lose that coverage upon the occurrence of a qualifying event. Most employers are well aware of the importance of offering COBRA when required to do so, and of the penalties for not complying with the law. However, it is also important to understand the circumstances under which COBRA need not be offered, because offering COBRA when it is not required can result in unnecessary expense.
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Jun 05
2007

June 05 2007
Why Healthcare Costs Rise
Healthcare costs rise as the workforce ages primarily due to lifestyle diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and chronic lung problems. These problems are referred to as lifestyle diseases because in many cases, they are either caused or aggravated by people’s lifestyle choices. For example, obesity is not only a disorder, but it also tends to create additional problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
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