New York Wine & GrapeNews
Employee Benefits News from Century Enrollment & Benefit Services LLC
Employee Benefits News for Wineries & Grape Growers
After a cool and rainy summer, the month of September has been a blessing for all, particularly our friends in the grape industry. With Fall comes Open Enrollment for health insurance and other employer sponsored benefits. From now thru January 2018 we will continue to update you on important deadlines, plan options and changes, as well as new laws that impact your business and/or the benefits landscape. As an additional resource for our group and individual healthcare subscribers, our agency is now certified and appointed to offer Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans.
Below you will find important information on key dates to be aware of and our new website where you can access information on Medicare options. You can even enroll in a plan if you wish to do so. We hope this additional service will be beneficial to you. If you have friends, relatives or co-workers that are Medicare eligible, please pass this on.
Health Care Reform News
- NY State of Health Announces Open Enrollment Dates for 2018 Individual Qualified Health Plans
- Open Enrollment will run November 1, 2017 - January 31, 2018
ALBANY, NY (September 7, 2017)- NY State of Health, the state's official health plan Marketplace, today announced that the Open Enrollment Period for 2018 Qualified Health Plan coverage will begin November 1, 2017 and end January 31, 2018. While the federal government has cut the 2018 Open Enrollment Period in half, New York looks to build on its success and is exercising its authority to extend the deadline. A longer enrollment period has been shown to increase enrollment of younger individuals and enables the Marketplace to provide better customer service to New Yorkers.
In the states using the federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov, the federal government has set December 15, 2017, as the end date for open enrollment. Because New York operates its own marketplace, the state has flexibility to set its open enrollment period dates. New York is exercising this authority to meet the needs of consumers by ensuring that they have sufficient time to enroll, and adequate access to enrollment assistance from the Customer Service Center and in-person assistors. Given the volume of calls and appointments during previous open enrollment periods, a shortened Open Enrollment could result in longer consumer wait times.
NY State of Health expects to renew coverage for more than 400,000 households and enroll new people into coverage during the Open Enrollment Period. Data show that younger individuals are more likely to enroll later in the Open Enrollment Period.
Individuals currently enrolled in a plan through NY State of Health will receive notices in October about how to renew their coverage for 2018 directly from the Marketplace. Notices will include information about how to select a plan, if applicable. Consumers whose plans are discontinuing in 2018 - Affinity and CareConnect, which enrolled less than three and five percent of individuals respectively- will have options from other issuers. These insurers participated in New York City and surrounding counties where individuals will have six or more insurer options in 2018.
Details about 2018 plan options will be released in late September.
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
- Open enrollment is October 15th - December 7th
What is the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?
Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year-things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. October 15th to December 7th is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs. If you are newly eligible, ie. turned age 65 in most cases, you have a 7 month period to enroll in coverage. The 3 months prior to your age 65 month, your birthday month and the 3 months following your birthday month. For 2017 - 2018 we will be offering Excellus, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare plans so please contact us should you have any questions. In addition, you can visit our new website to search for plans in your area and their respective premiums. Additional resources can be found here:
Paid Family Leave
Hopefully by now you are aware of this new law that takes effect on January 1st, 2018. We have discussed this topic in previous newsletters so if you are need of additional information please let us know. The most recent information, released in late August, concerns the tax implications of these benefits. This recent guidance from the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance can be found here.
Two important items that employers must be aware of concerning PFL:
Employers must add PFL to their written guidance for employees concerning employee benefits or leave rights, such as in an employee handbook. PFL Expert Tip: Even if an employer doesn't have written manuals, it will still have to create written guidance on PFL, including information on how to file a claim.
Just like with DBL, employers will have to display and keep posted a printed notice concerning Paid Family Leave as published by NY State later this year. This notice should be released in the next few weeks and will be included in next month's newsletter.
Just for Fun
Hopefully everyone reading this is happy with their current career but if your not, or you have a child entering college, here are the 7 best jobs for the future. I'm not surprised that they are all in the tech or medical sectors.
Century Enrollment & Benefit Services LLC is an independent insurance and benefit communication firm headquartered in Rochester, NY. With over 25 years experience in the insurance industry, the representatives at Century will guide your organization through the maze of employee benefit options available to today's business owner. Our focus is on the selection, implementation and communication of employee benefits to both yourself and your workforce.
Joseph Cavallaro - President
Century Enrollment & Benefit Services LLC
PO Box 14903
Rochester, New York 14614
Web Site: www.centuryadvisory.com
The above information is the monthly Employee Benefits Update from Century Enrollment & Benefit Services, LLC, a Business Associate Member of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. Please note: Business Associate Membership does not imply an endorsement from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.