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Survey Shows 10% of Employers Anticipate Dropping Health Care Benefits



Employer

With medical costs on the rise, employers are exploring health care coverage alternatives.

According to an article on the Los Angeles Times website, a new survey shows 10% of employers anticipate dropping health care benefits for their employees. The survey, by consulting firm Deloitte, found 81% of employers plan to continue offering health benefits and another 10% weren’t sure what they would do.

According to the article, more employers are exploring new ways to provide health care benefits to their employees. Some are looking into defined contribution plans or trying to negotiate with local health care systems directly.

Source:  Nearly 10% of employers to drop health benefits, survey finds, LA Times

Do You Cover Part of Your Employees’ Healthcare Costs? You May be Eligible For…

The Small Business Health Care tax credit is available to employers who pay at least half of the cost of health care for their employees. (Photo Credit: office.microsoft.com)

The Small Business Health Care tax credit, which is designed to help small businesses and tax exempt organizations provide healthcare to their employees, is available to employers who pay at least half of the cost of health care for their employees. To qualify you must:

  • Have fewer than 25 full time employees (FTE). 2 part time employees = 1 full time employee.
  • You must cover at least 50% of the premium for single health care coverage for each of your employees.
  • Your employees must have an average wage of less than $50,000 per year. This number is the average! So, if you have 9 full time employees, and 2 part time employees that together make $250,000 you would divide 250,000 by 10, which equals $25,000. Your 10 FTEs (remember 2 part time employees = 1 full time employee) make an average of $25,000 a year. Even if Joe makes $40,000; Sue makes $35,000; Bill makes $30,000; etc.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information regarding this credit please contact your H&S tax professional.

ICD-10 Changes Are On The Way

By Mike Farmer & Jane Verduin

The United States will be updating the ICD codes to the ICD-10 version starting October 1, 2013. While other countries have been using ICD-10 as far back as 1994, the United States has delayed the transition until now. The new codes will increase the specificity required in reporting, by increasing the 17,000 codes currently used up to 140,000. The means that the doctors will have to be very specific in their documentation and the billers will have to understand more anatomical and medical terms in order to determine which billing code to use.

One of the first steps in the conversion to ICD-10 is updating to the 5010 HIPAA standard for submitting claims. This provides the infrastructure for the new ICD-10 codes to be submitted. Diagnosis codes in the ICD-9 are three to five characters in length, which is what the current 4010 electronic file format was designed around. In ICD-10, the length of diagnosis codes will be up to seven characters, so an upgrade to HIPAA 5010 electronic file format is necessary. Electronic claims generated in your office or by your billing company will need to accommodated this upgraded format.

Should you have any questions or need any guidance during this transition, please contact Mike Farmer at 231-798-6503.