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July 2013

Understanding the Affordable Care package.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bz9h1ZPIG8

Easily understood big picture view of health care reform.

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May 2013

Wellness Program Regulations

The government released a long awaited regulation relating to wellness programs.

Summary:
This document contains final regulations, consistent with the Affordable Care Act, regarding nondiscriminatory wellness programs in group health coverage. Specifically, these final regulations increase the maximum permissible reward under a health-contingent wellness program offered in connection with a group health plan (and any related health insurance coverage) from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of coverage. The final regulations further increase the maximum permissible reward to 50 percent for wellness programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use. These regulations also include other clarifications regarding the reasonable design of health-contingent wellness programs and the reasonable alternatives they must offer in order to avoid prohibited discrimination.

The full text is here: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-12916_PI.pdf

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August 2011

Coming in 2014 Affordable Insurance Exchanges

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awards $185 million to help States continue to set up these new marketplaces.

http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/exchanges08122011a.html

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June 23 2011

Federal Funding Available for Workplace Health Programs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today the availability of $10 million to establish and evaluate comprehensive workplace health promotion programs across the nation to improve the health of American workers and their families. The initiative, with funds from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, is aimed at improving workplace environments so that they support healthy lifestyles and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

Read more http://www.ncppa.org/home/news/56/

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April 2011

WHIP- A Smart Investment Towards a Healthier America (H.R. 2106 . S.913)

The Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act would allow for the balanced tax treatment of the cost of fitness center memberships as an employee benefit. Specifically, it would reaffirm an employer’s right to deduct the cost of subsidizing or providing off-site fitness center benefits for their employees. In addition, this legislation would exclude the wellness benefit from being considered taxable income for employees. We do not believe that originally the Congress intended to treat “onsite” fitness services differently than “offsite” services. The WHIP legislation would correct this inequity in our present tax system.

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March 2011

With the passing of Resolution 97 to combat obesity we are waiting to see what opportunities arise.

The passage of this Resolution affirms the importance of physical activity to our nation’s health and commits the U.S. Senate to encouraging the development of incentives, including responsible economic incentives, to promote exercise and a more physically active and healthy United States.

As noted in the Resolution itself, approximately half of the direct medical costs associated with diseases that stem from obesity and inactivity are paid for by the government and the taxpayers of the United States through federally funded programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare. And the potential savings in direct medical costs if all inactive American adults engaged in regular physical activity could be as high as $80,000,000,000.

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December 2010

Workplace Wellness Programs Federal grants available for small companies.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 includes provisions for grants for small businesses, (under 100 employees working more than 25 hours a week), to develop and implement effective employee health promotion programs. Companies who do not have the financial resources to implement effective health promotion programs, can submit a proposal for funding.

The Federal government must establish processes for small businesses to apply for the grants, establish eligibility requirements for health promotion pro­grams, and allocate funds for the program. Although the timetable for completion of these activities has not been established, I am optimistic that this program is scheduled for early 2011.

Government grants must be submitted through an Authorized Organization Representative, someone that is registered on Grant.gov for your company. While the Workplace Wellness grants have yet to be available, you want to have everything in place to send a proposal when the funds are released.

What you will need to register

  • A Duns number see fedgov.dnb.com or 1800 705-5711
  • Be registered through Central Contractor Registration
  • Have a Marketing Partner Identification number
  • Have a profile set up at Grant.gov
  • Get approval from Grant.gov to submit proposal
  • Submit proposal

I can do the setup and proposal for you. We will need to meet to exchange information and confirm your commitment. This is an exciting time for all of us who want to “raise the bar” on well-being.

Call me to learn more, and begin your involvement.

Stay well,

Danielle

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Healthy Workforce Act 2009 pending

4/2/2009--Introduced.
Healthy Workforce Act of 2009 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow employers a 50% tax credit for the costs of providing employees with a qualified wellness program. Defines "qualified wellness program" as a program that is certified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and that consists of a health awareness and education component, a behavioral change component, and a supportive environment component. Terminates such credit after 2017. Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to institute an outreach program to inform businesses about the availability of such wellness program tax credit.

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Health Care Reform 2010

Incentives for Wellness: The law allows employers to offer premium discounts and other financial incentives for up to 30 percent of the total premium to individuals who satisfy a health standard. It includes provisions designed to ensure that discriminatory practices do not occur. The secretary of Health and Human Services has the authority to issue regulations to allow financial incentives up to 50 percent. The law provides for grants for up to five years to small employers that establish wellness programs.