Are We Going to Be Hearing More About the Indiana Approach?

Pence Puts Pressure On Senate; Pundits Bring Up Indiana Approach
VP Mike Pence recently pressed on the Senate to act on healthcare now rather than later. The Washington Examiner reported that Pence told an Iowa crowd last week that  “…Congress must repeal and replace Obamacare.” His comments came shortly after Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., told a local radio station that he didn’t think healthcare reform could get done this year, let alone before Congress’ month-long August recess that starts at the end of July. Since part of the problem with the Republican plan appears to be Medicaid, pundits say we may start hearing more about Pence’s Indiana approach. As governor of Indiana, Pence took Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, but sought some cosmetic changes to the program that allowed him to argue he was really promoting a free market plan. The Indiana approach includes managed care plans as well as the requirement for enrollees to contribute to health savings accounts. It was assembled by Seema Verma, the current administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

UnitedHealth In Medicare Hot Seat
The Justice Department filed a 79-page lawsuit in Los Angeles alleging that UnitedHealth falsely raised patient risk scores in order to collect higher Medicare payments than it deserved. The government said it had “conservatively estimated” that the company “knowingly and improperly avoided repaying Medicare” for more than $1 billion dollars over the course of a decade. The suit was brought in support of a whistleblower suing UnitedHealth under the federal False Claims Act. Earlier in May, the government joined a similar case brought by California whistleblower James Swoben in 2009. Swoben, a medical data consultant, also alleges that UnitedHealth overbilled Medicare. In a statement, UnitedHealth said it complied with the government’s Medicare Advantage program rules and has been transparent with CMS. UnitedHealth spokesman Matt Burns said the Justice Department “fundamentally misunderstands or is deliberately ignoring how the Medicare Advantage program works. We reject these claims and will contest them vigorously.” Read more at Kaiser Health News.

ANNUITIES

NAFA Webinar Thursday, June 8, 8:30am PT
Join NAFA’s Jeff Barnes, national accounts manager, EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, and Paul McGillivray, business development director, M&O Marketing, Inc., as they discuss the nine things every investor should know about annuities. Learn how to address the questions and misunderstandings regarding annuities and how to help clients make informed decisions about their financial goals and retirement planning. Register today for this presentation.

Nationwide Offers Retirement Readiness Reports
Only 22 percent of retirement plan participants say they feel very prepared for retirement, and less than half say they have attempted to estimate their retirement income needs. Nationwide’s new personalized Retirement Readiness Report, however, may help. With the new online tool, plan participants can easily understand if they are on track to meet their retirement goals and take action to improve their retirement outlook. The new report builds on Nationwide’s award-winning digital capabilities and uses a fully responsive mobile design that allows participants to use their device of choice for greater accessibility. For more information, please visit Nationwide’s MyRetirement site.

 

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Hodges-Mace Joins ‘Top HR Tech Companies’ List
Benefits delivery innovator Hodges-Mace, LLC,  joins ADP, Deloitte, Healthiest You and Maestro Health as the top five of Employee Benefit News magazine’s 10 HR Tech Companies to Watch. Selection criteria for the 10 HR Tech Companies to Watch was based on the size of the company’s installed client base and on the company’s ability to deliver useful and innovative solutions to HR challenges.