News and Blog

Wednesday, 18 May 2016
DOL releases new FSLA Overtime Exemption Rules

Just when you thought the Government couldn't interfere in your business any more than they have. On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the publication of a final rule amending the white collar overtime exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule, which will be published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2016, increases the threshold salary for the exemption to $913 per week ($47,476 per year), the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region (currently the South). 

Set to take affect on December 1, 2016 this new rule doubles the salary and will continue to raise the minimum income every three years beginning in 2020. 

Read more here

Posted on 05/18/2016 1:44 PM by David Moore - ThinkHR
Thursday, 12 May 2016
BlueCross BlueShield of Tn, Cigna and Humana plan to stay for 2017

Even after losing hundreds of millions of dollars in 2014 and 2015 BCBST, Humana and Cigna are continuing with Obamacare for at least another year in Tennessee. Each carrier has indicated by the May 11th deadline that they would continue offering subsided policies through the marketplace next year. What we don't know yet are the proposed rates for the upcoming year. We should see those in mid October for a November 15th open enrollment season.

Keep in mind, those who receive financial assistance "subsidies" through the Marketplace are shielded from true cost of the insurance and any increases. In 2016 individual BCBST policies went up nearly 40% for the unlucky consumer who did not qualify for a subsidy. Those who did qualify for a subsidy only saw 2-3% increases with the government picking up the difference.


Posted on 05/12/2016 1:18 PM by David Moore
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Health insurance costs | The gap between ACA and real world

Insurance premiums are going up / Insurance costs have not gone,up at all.,It all depends on which side of the table you sit on; Are you a payer or a receiver of premium,and benefit subsidies? This is from a North Carolina study but the results are the same across the country. ACA officials brag that health insurance premiums only increased 3% going into 2016. Strange how many saw their real premium cost increase by 30% or more. How can that be you ask, subsidies based on keeping premiums at no more than 9.5% of income.,

Insurance carriers had no way to know how to price premiums when you enter into a guarantee issue, community rated, no pre-existing conditions and lots of mandated benefits world. While the early premiums were,high for those of use who are relatively healthy non smokers two years of increases have more than doubled most of our premiums. The difference is how the premium subsidies work when you are a lower income earner.,

Using TN figures because that is where I live, using a 45 year old non smoker earning $25,000. The lowest premium for the second lowest cost Silver plan is $317 per month before any subsidies. Just for comparison sake, I ran the cost for a similar policy with pre-ACA benefits (no guarantee issue, community rating and includes pre-x) and the cost of this $1,500 deductible plan is $151 per month.,

While we have not seen the rates for 2017 the word on the street is individual health premiums are going to see another large increase. United HealthCare has announced they are pulling out of many markets and other carriers are threatening. Why? Guarantee issue with no pre-x and benefit subsidies giving people nearly 100% coverage is an open door to high medical and prescription costs. Carriers are losing tens and hundreds of millions of dollars on these ACA policies and it can not go on forever.,

What does the future hold for individual health insurance? That's a loaded question, as premiums increase more people qualify for subsidies making that many more dependent on the Government. Fortunately employer sponsored insurance is still a viable option for most who are working. There are no easy answers and plenty of places to point fingers as to why health care and health insurance cost so much. Time will tell, for now we have a very expensive, uncoordinated and some would say broken system. 

Posted on 05/11/2016 9:10 AM by David Moore