This page includes news and tips for small business owners who provide employee benefits as well as self-employed people for provide their own coverage. Freedom Benefits provides compensation and benefits planning advice to cut costs, save on employer and employee taxes, improve value received, increase employee satisfaction and speed up wealth building for plan participants.
Individual major medical insurance enrollment for 2018 is open from November 1 through December 15, 2017 at the federal government’s insurance web site. You can see plans and rates without creating an online account here. We offer limited free personal support with questions through OnlineNavigatorTM service.
Short term options, dental coverage, supplemental insurance and other health benefit plans are available through multiple sources. We suggest Smart Insurance Marketplace as the first place to look. Telephone and email support is available.
Freedom Benefits small business employee benefit plans now allow for inclusion of a wider range of options including: 1) Group or Individual Health Insurance, 2) Health Savings Account, 3) Preferred Provider Discount Pricing Service (including prescription drugs at over 45,000 pharmacies nationwide, Telehealth for facetime or call to a physician 24/7, Karis360 Suite of services including Healthcare Navigator, Surgery Saver and Bill Negotiator), 4) Health Reimbursement Arrangement, 5) Special Purpose Health Reimbursement Arrangement, 6) Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement, 7) Flexible Spending Account including Dependent Care Plan. 8) 401(k) Plan, 9) Pension Plan, 10) IRA or SEP Retirement Savings Plan, 11) Deferred Compensation Plan, 12) Thrift Savings Plan, 13) Employee Home Office Expense Reimbursement Plan, 14) Employee Travel Expenses Reimbursement Plan, 15) Employee Commuter Mass Transit and Parking Expense Reimbursement Plan, 16) Employee Work-Related Expense Reimbursement Plan, and 17) Other benefits specified by the employer.
11/5/2017 A recent analysis conducted for the state insurance department indicates that the average medical costs for those residents were 24 percent higher than others in the individual market in 2016. More surprising is that the state’s hospital admission rate was 72 percent higher and their emergency department visits were 300 percent higher. A writer for Seacoastonline.com says “A recent analysis conducted for the New Hampshire Insurance Department estimated that among the 97,000 people in the state’s individual market, 74 percent who either get federal subsidies or are part of the expanded Medicaid program likely will see their premiums drop or remain flat in 2018. But the 26 percent who pay the full cost will see increases averaging 52 percent, in large part because President Donald Trump abruptly ended federal payments that reimburse insurers for reduced copays and deductibles they’re required to provide to people of modest means”.
People who do not qualify for Advanced Premium Tax Credits and are unable to afford premiums may qualify for an exemption from the tax penalty if the lowest-cost bronze plan available on HealthCare.gov is more than 8.16 percent of their household income. This would not provide the consumer with coverage, but it would allow for an exemption from the individual mandate fine. We recommend that consumers get the required documentation far in advance of the tax filing deadline.