A Money discussion everyone can understand.

The key question for you is if your credit card was maxed out at $107,000 would you borrow more? Would a bank give you more?

Congress and our President are arguing over how much more to spend on your credit card.

 

In the first box below, as of August 31, 2013, the United States (you and me) has borrowed $16,738,650,000. That number is nearly 17 Trillion dollars. You and me owe this amount. Think of this like your own monthly bills. This is what you owe on your credit card for purchases you made in the past.

August 2013
United States Public Debt

What does that mean to you? Let’s make it personal. If you are working and paying taxes you are among 155,486,000 (155 million) people. This is the group who will pay this credit card bill. Simply put, if each person working paid an equal share of the 17 Trillion each working person owes $107,000. This is $107,000 the government already spent and does not count what they are going to spend tomorrow.

Here’s the math, $16,738,650,000 billion in debt / 155,486,000 tax payers = $107,000 per tax payer. So, pay up.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Number of taxpayers who will pay the debt.

The key question for you is if your credit card was maxed out at $107,000 would you borrow more? Would a bank give you more?

Congress and our President are arguing over how much more to spend on your credit card.

Required announcement for employees, samples and guidance …

Required employer notice explaining an employees ability to go to the marketplace to obtain coverage.

October 1st is a deadline date I would not want you to miss.

As the premier, trusted source, BenStaff has prepared this short announcement for you to announce to employees the required DOL notice for health care reform.

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Health care reform, Obama care, is here and to help you comply the team has prepared this email to help you. You will find three links in this note and a few short helpful tips. The first is our employee announcement template, the second is the DOL model notice and the third is a SAMPLE completed notice.

Click here for the employee announcement template you can send to employees. You will likely revise this to fit your own peculiarities, remember to keep your message simple and don’t include language that promises employees something by mistake. The team has seen announcements others have provided and found information that obscures the plain language intended by the DOL.

When writing to employees about benefits, you likely wouldn’t be surprised to learn, shorter is better because employees likely won’t read all you write. Send us your revisions or your own letter and we’ll give you our thoughts at no charge.

The required DOL notice – PDF is easy to fill-in, most employers can fill this in without any assistance and send it to employees with only minor personalization. The DOL also provides tools and resources you can find at www.dol.gov/ebsa. On the second and third pages of the notice there are references to minimum value, actuarial value, and essential benefits. Many insurance companies or issuers of policies have provided employers with these items; minimum value, actuarial value and if essential benefits are included.

But, for some employers who have HRAs or separately administered drug cards or wrap plans their plan may require an actuarial valuation to satisfy the forms accurate completion. This is a written statement made by a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. We have this assistance available if an employer plan needs that help. Our staff is ready to provide the certifications.

The notice intent is to communicate to all employees that the government health care site (to be referred to as the Marketplace) will open 10/1 and to provide employees with basic information about the employer plan. Employees who venture to the Marketplace will need this information.

Review the completed sample; BenStaff_sample_DOL_required_notice_for_10_1.

A WORD OF CAUTION: If the employee cost you enter in box 15 or 16 is more than 9.5% of any employees pay, you should review your plans again. We would recommend you look more closely because an employee whose cost is that high is likely eligible for a subsidy. This may put you into the penalty. It’s true penalties have been delayed to 2015 but the measurement period that will determine the penalties has not. Call us for help, we can provide a few simple recommendations.

The notice we’ve provided here is for employers who have health plans, there is a different notice for employers that don’t.

(as provided in an email alert, September 2013)

Sticker Shock, Even for Boosters of Obamacare

A returning customer reacting to sticker shock said, “WOW, I am a supporter of providing insurance for more people, but this is awful.”

mike rogers congressman
Mike Rogers, before Congress 10/23/2013

I do enjoy watching and listening to first hand commentary. I just received a link to Mr Rogers opening remarks on Health care reform in Washington at the same time a returning customer was slugging through their new 1/1/2014 health care options.

A returning customer reacting to sticker shock said, WOW, I am a supporter of providing insurance for more people, but this is awful.”  This customer found premiums per person doubling for their small business.

The sentiments of the customer are consistent with so many who are having sticker shock along with confusion about the new rules.

Rogers, in his brief remarks mentions the trade-off the government is forcing on 85% of the population who have health care. One trade-off he explains is the, “National cancer intelligence center for the United Kingdom and the Canadian Cancer registry here’s the trade-off they picked by having government run health care. If you get prostate cancer you have a less chance of survivability than you do in the United States. And, that’s the same for skin cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer…”

There are answers but they’re not republican or democrat. The answers lie in the details underpinning health care and its availability and affordability. The Economist just published an article, “How Science Goes Wrong“ where they outline a lack of rigor in research. Agenda driven research needs to be abolished, both to benefit individuals and lower cost for employers.

BenStaff is an analytic, detail loving firm. Everyone on my team is detail oriented and our work is focused on making the most of the employee benefit dollar spent.

 

23 Days into the ACA “Obamacare” rollout

Mike Rogers YouTube video, his commentary before congress on the roll-out of the ACA on day 23.

Mike Rogers provides commentary on the roll-out of the ACA. A customer of BenStaff is quoted, they explain how they just received a 100% increase in cost because of reform.

A Note about older posts

Old “Blogger posts” have been consolidated into this one posting location.

Over time I have posted blog pages, written articles, spoken on TV or been interviewed about employee benefits, healthcare, retirement and topics like that. I’ve not been consistent where these things have been located.

If you know of posts I should retrieve, please let me know.

Enjoy