Health Care

Jul 5, 2013

Employers win more time to comply with ACA rules

Some Idaho businesses see a delay in implementation of the Affordable Care Act as a reprieve. Others view the delay, to the "pay or play" provision of the ACA, as a headache. The health care reform provision requiring larger employers to provide full time workers with insurance will be delayed for a year until Jan. 1, 2015. The United States Department of Treasury posted that news on its websit[...]

Jun 28, 2013

Idaho exchange board: Average policy costs $240 monthly

[caption id="attachment_91686" align="alignleft" width="255" caption="Preliminary insurance packages submitted to the Idaho Department of Insurance indicate health insurance policies sold through Idaho’s health insurance exchange will average about $240 per month. The cost of coverage is a key concern for businesses deciding whether to insure employees or face tax penalties. File photo."][/capti[...]

Jun 24, 2013

A word with David Pate: ‘Do we want to lead or do we want to let somebody else fix this?’

[caption id="attachment_90528" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="David Pate is leading St. Luke's toward becoming the only Accountable Care Organization in Idaho, which could eventually allow the hospital to share in Medicare savings it creates by keeping patients healthier. Photo by Patrick Sweeney."][/caption] David Pate became the head of St. Luke’s Health System in Idaho in 2009,[...]

Jun 13, 2013

St. Luke’s wants to share its successful wellness program

[caption id="attachment_90994" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Healthy U meals are served to St. Luke's employees in May. The cafeteria options at St. Luke's are designed to help employees who are trying to live healthier lifestyles. Photo by Pete Grady."][/caption] It took St. Luke’s nearly 15 years to find the “magical” combination that would get almost all its employees [...]

Jun 10, 2013

Small business tax credit excludes many in Idaho

The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is billed as a good way for employers with fewer than 25 full-time – or full-time equivalent – employees to stay competitive and weather upcoming premium increases. The reality in Idaho has been a different story, with requirements in the tax credit excluding many small businesses that could use it and others not seeing enough of a benefit to offer [...]

May 30, 2013

How to know when the new health care laws apply to your business

Jan. 1 is the deadline for companies with more than 50 employees to ensure they meet new federal requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For most companies – 96 percent, as tracked by the Small Business Administration – the change in law requires absolutely nothing, as most companies fall below the 50-employee threshold. For companies with more than 50 part-t[...]

May 24, 2013

It’s a rough road to PPACA compliance

Employers say they want to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But they are struggling to understand the rules. “Trying to separate the facts versus the myths is a lot of it,” said Dan Jones, an employee benefit consultant with Western Benefit Solutions/Gallagher Benefit Services. Fortunately, assistance is available. “People are definitely trying to help peo[...]

May 6, 2013

Home health care industry faces leaner growth

[caption id="attachment_87621" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Karen Young, center, speaks with registered nurses Barb Hatcher and Mark Fuller at her company, Progressive Nursing Services. Companies like Progressive face a $68 billion cut to Medicare reimbursements that are hurting growth. Photo by Patrick Sweeney"][/caption] If the growth of the senior citizen population is any indicati[...]

Apr 30, 2013

House Calls brings doctors back to doorsteps

[caption id="attachment_86965" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Arthur C. Jones IV, a doctor who works with the company House Calls, examines a patient in an assisted living facility in Boise. Photo by Patrick Sweeney"][/caption] Most people see the physician’s house call as an anachronism. Steven Fuller sees the house call as his ticket into the ballooning health care industry. Full[...]

Apr 29, 2013

Clinic appeals decision to end Medicaid payments

An Eastern Idaho mental health clinic that was suspended from getting Medicaid payments in March filed an appeal late April 24 contesting the state Department of Health and Welfare's decision to revoke its Medicaid provider status. Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan said the department can't yet release the Chubbuck-based Seasons of Hope clinic's appeal because it includes patient names [...]

Apr 24, 2013

Idaho: No plan to shift part-timers to exchange

Idaho government officials haven't discussed mimicking Washington lawmakers who are considering shifting part-time state employees who work less than 30 hours a week to insurance exchanges. The Legislature in Idaho just passed the exchange only a month ago, and Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal says all his efforts are directed at making sure it's running by Jan. 1, 2014. Deal wasn'[...]

Apr 23, 2013

Changing times and sentiments spell profits for pet insurance companies

[caption id="attachment_85917" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Jack Stephens, middle left, sells the first ever pet insurance policy to Lassie, in 1982. Stephens formed his second pet insurance company, Pets Best, in Boise in 2005. Photo courtesy of Pets Best"][/caption] It took Jack Stephens 15 years to make money after opening his first pet insurance company in 1982. In his second atte[...]