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Discussion:ACA questions and stuff - not political

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Discussion Forum Index --> General Chat --> ACA questions and stuff - not political

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

20 September 2013
I think there are going to be a ton of questions on the ACA, some of them will be tax related some of them not. I'd like to start a discussion thread to address those questions, and limited to those types of discussions since we all know there are tons of people who hate the program and tons of people who like the program. Either way, the thing is going to go in place and it would be good to be able to get guidance from each other and suggestions on how to answer client questions or places to look for answers.

The question I have that started me thinking along these lines deals with a discussion I had yesterday. A lady I met at a seminar owns a business in town, the group insurance they currently have is tiered for two classes of employes, which ERISA allows and is not considered to be discriminatory. She and her husband are the Stockholders and Officers, and their plan is better, and more costly than the plan offered to the Rank and File. Will that type of tiered program be allowed to continue under ACA? We were told at this seminar, and I've read some other material that indicates ERISA rules will stay in place, but the lady I was speaking with felt that when she called her insurer, they were indicating that she would no longer be able to have two classes of employees with two different types of plans.

Right now it's kind of hard doing any kind of research on these issues. Using the words "Tiered Plan" brings up all types of information that is irrelevant to this question because the ACA plans are "Tiered" and you get a lot of the wrong kind of information,.

Bilbo (talk|edits) said:

20 September 2013
I don't know the answer to your question but I have ACA (non political) questions as well. I would post them here but I don't want to hijack your question. I may start a separate thread. I applaud your "just the facts" request.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

25 September 2013
Just bumping this to the top to see if anyone has a website to take a look at or can offer some direction for this type of research.

Captcook (talk|edits) said:

25 September 2013
Specifically speaking to allowable discrimination in health insurance plans, one insurance professional I spoke with last week mentioned that the interpretation of allowable discrimination can depend upon the insurance company issuing the policy. Some are more conservative than others in this respect. He said these companies were becoming more permissive (in WA state) compared with a year ago. That said, in his opinion the owner/non-owner discrimination will not be allowed to continue. The only official guidance I've seen simply says no discrimination is allowed period, but that isn't what I'm hearing is occurring in practice. I hope that helps. This is one area I keep asking a lot of questions on myself and will continue to do so.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

25 September 2013
CaptCook, I've heard the same thing about discrimination. The speaker who was representing the exchange in Hawaii, referred to as the Connector, is the one who very clearly said to the audience that the rules of ERISA would not change. Most people in that audience would most likely not understand the significance of that comment, but I'd sure like to see something in writing and not have to read through 20,000 pages of stuff to find it.

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

26 September 2013
Self Compliance Tool for Part 7 of ERISA, prepared by DOL.

It's 38 pages rather than 20,000. I have no idea if this will be of any benefit to people interested in the subject.

I scanned it briefly and I did see some material on non-discrimination around page 12 of the tool. There could be more stuff about it.

Some of you may already know of this document, but I'm posting it anyway. (pdf, 38 pages)

(By the way, just is case the above information turns out to be helpful or relevant, please note it took me around 15 minutes to find it. I thought I'd list the time here since I listed the time I spent on Natalie's matter. But again, I don't know if this is what you are looking for. Or maybe this is a worthless "tool". Maybe you already have this link. etc. I don't know if I answered Natalie's question either.)

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

26 September 2013
Fr. M. I think that's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the help and the direction. I have a payroll to process, but I scrolled through the document quickly and found a section about discrimination and "Similarly Situated Individuals". Reading through that section, it sounds as though the term "Similarly Situated Individuals" would apply to the employee groups of stockholders/officers and rank and file.

"Under 29CFR2590.702(d), plans may treat distinct groups of similarly situated individuals differently, if the distinctions between or among the groups are not based on a health factor. If distinguishing among groups of participants, plans and issuers must base distinctions on bona fide employment-based classifications consistent with the employer's usual business practice. Whether an employment-based classification is bona fide is based on relevant facts and circumstances, such as whether the employer uses the classification for purposes independent of qualification for health coverage. Bona fide employment-based classifications might include: full-time versus part-time employee status;........or differing occupations."

I'll read this in more detail, but I think that's the key to having two plans for two different employee classifications. Am I right?

H.D.J. Friefunk (talk|edits) said:

27 September 2013
Sometimes I get lucky with my searches. It's my mind. I'm trained to think like a spy. I watched Columbo for years, when it first came out, then all the reruns. I've watched Columbo more than I have Leave it to Beaver (which I am quite willing to do at this point: leave him). The only thing I had a hard time finding on the internet was a good, old fashioned spatula, with a thin, sturdy, flipper blade. Then Kevin turned me over to Spatula World, which is a store just devoted to spatulas, though I never could find anything but a picture of the store on the internet.

I can find these things, but I have no understanding of the law. My doctor told me he thinks I've become allergic to it. Seriously. Every time I look at any law now (any law), an overwhelming depression and loss of hope comes over me, and I have to slam the book shut or turn off my computer screen before I suicide myself. So I'll leave others to answer your question------Am I right?

Good luck everyone.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

24 October 2013
I came into my office this morning and there was a phone message from some insurance broker who wants to get together and talk about the ACA and, I guess, how we can be mutually helpful on the tax aspects. I'm not sure how that would work, but what the heck? I just spent a bit of time checking out the federal website that has come under so much attack. I didn't try to sign up or set up an account since I don't need either of those. So I just scrolled around and I find there is a tremendous amount of information available without providing personal information or setting up an account. I wanted to see rates and benefits so I entered a couple of different locations to see what happens, and I was provided with that data, which I think is critical to beginning the sign up process (i.e., how much does it cost and what do I get for my money). California has a website and you can be directed to it from the federal site. I checked out that site and it's pretty good as far as providing information, no idea how it's working on the sign up side. Hawaii has it's own website, and, by comparison, it's pretty poor. Consumers are still not able to see rates or plan information without setting up an account. I don't see why they require all that personal information just to provide basic information.

It's crazy that the federal website seems to be so badly set up for actually signing up and setting up accounts. I think that's indefensible. They've had over two years to design and test the program and it should come as no surprise that literally millions of people are going to use it. I hope they can get that fixed because it is a major black eye in the process.

Now as to the insurance broker, at least I know what's on the websites.

Wiles (talk|edits) said:

25 October 2013
In regards to the discrimination question, is not Notice 2011-1 still in effect?

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