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James Scott Bradley
James Scott Bradley
Sr. V.P. of Employee Benefits for Cook, Hall & Hyde, Inc. and an employee benefits expert specializing in developing creative solutions to managing healthcare costs.

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Nov. 18, 2009 1:58 pm
Group health plans are responsible for compliance with a number of federal laws governing issues such as continuation coverage and portability of health coverage. If a group health plan does not comply with applicable group health plan requirements, the employer maintaining the plan is subject to an excise tax. Employers are also subject to an excise tax if they do not satisfy comparable...  Read More
Nov. 17, 2009 2:16 pm
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released regulations under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). GINA amended HIPAA to prohibit employer-sponsored health plans (or insurers) from collecting, using or disclosing genetic information concerning employees or their family members either (1) before or in...  Read More
Nov. 17, 2009 2:12 pm
For High Deducible Health Plans & Health Savings Accounts The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service released IRS 2009-29 which lists the new indexed amounts, adjusted for inflation, for High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) under Internal Revenue Code section 223(g). To whom do These New Inflated Amounts Apply? These rates will apply to...  Read More
Nov. 11, 2009 1:44 pm
If you need to quickly digest the 2,000-odd page health care reform bill passed by the House last week, you're in luck. Towers Perrin has boiled down the key points — provisions that would have a significant impact on employers and could appear in final legislation — to a four-page cheat sheet. Stay tuned for updates as the Senate re-writes this bill. House Health Care Reform cheat sheet ...  Read More
Nov. 11, 2009 1:39 pm
Two separate bills have been introduced, one which is more expansive than the other. The smaller of the two bills is HR 3966, which would only extend the ARRA subsidy for involuntary terminations and loss of coverage occurring through June 30, 2010.  However, the larger bill is HR 3930, and includes the following provisions: Qualifying events with the 18-month COBRA period would be extended to...  Read More
Oct. 15, 2009 8:53 am
On October 13, 2009, the Senate Finance Committee approved Senator Max Baucus’s (D-Montana) health care bill, the America’s Healthy Future Act, by a vote of 14 to 9. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) was the only Republican to vote with the committee’s 13 Democrats in favor of the bill. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the cost of the bill at $829 billion over 10 years. The bill...  Read More
Oct. 12, 2009 2:36 pm
The Associated Press is out with another story on the new PricewaterhouseCoopers' report highlighting the increased costs for individuals and families as a result of proposals from the Senate Finance Committee.  Here are some key excerpts: "...a new accounting firm study that projects the legislation would add $1,700 a year to the cost of family coverage in 2013, when most of the major...  Read More
Oct. 12, 2009 1:44 pm
Effective September 1, 2009  the “Age 29” law, permits eligible young adults through the age of 29 to continue or obtain coverage through a parent’s group policy. Insurers will notify employees of this benefit. Employees or their eligible dependents may then elect the benefit and pay the premium, which cannot be more than 100% of the single premium rate. This benefit, referred to here as the...  Read More
Sep. 23, 2009 4:46 pm
The Harvard School of Public Health study released several weeks ago found that two out of three U.S. businesses are unprepared to deal with the effects of a flu pandemic, when employee absences can be a major disruption. The Kineo Group's Crisis Practice has created a H1N1 Readiness Check List that leverages its principals' expertise from work at the American Red Cross and other global...  Read More
Sep. 23, 2009 3:39 pm
New Jersey is one of the first states to experiment with accountable care organizations, or ACOs, a relatively new health care model that is similar to the patient-centered medical home, or PCMH, and that links primary care and subspecialist practices with area hospitals to create an integrated delivery system. Providers are accountable for costs and the quality of care delivered, and bonuses and...  Read More
Aug. 25, 2009 9:44 am
The next time your doctor prescribes a name brand medication it may be worth checking online or with your local pharmacy to see if there is any special money saving offers available.  Many of these brand name drugs have their own dedicated websites that will provide  specific information to obtain savings.   Provided below is a SAMPLE of medications that have special money saving offers. ...  Read More
Aug. 4, 2009 2:59 pm
Stop & Shop: $9.99 90 Day supply Walmart: $4 30 Day supply, $10 90 Day supply Kmart: $5/$10/$15  Generic List Hannaford: $4 30 Day supply, $9.99 90 Day supply Target: $4 30 Day supply, $10 90 Day Supply Giant: $9.99 90 Day supply Free Antibotics Publix Wegmans Schnucks G iant  Read More
Aug. 4, 2009 12:07 pm
American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Effective October 3, 2009 for all large and small groups. Hearing Aids: Coverage of hearing aids will be standard. Dollar limits mirror Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and Prosthetics and vary by state and plan Limited to one device as follows: Connecticut every 12 months New Jersey every 24 months New...  Read More
Aug. 4, 2009 11:24 am
Governor David A. Paterson signed into law three Governor's Program bills that will make health insurance more affordable and improve access to health care for New Yorkers. The first extends the period of time for COBRA coverage from 18 to 36 months; the second permits families to cover their young adult dependents through age 29 under their job-based insurance; and the third enacts a series...  Read More
May 1, 2009 4:26 pm
[youtube=] Below are links to a variety of swine flu educational resources that will help you stay on top of the situation. They include: General information about swine flu from the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC is updating this page several times a day. Information about workplace planning for a pandemic such as swine flu from the...  Read More
Mar. 30, 2009 9:05 am
The NJ Prescription Drug Registry will help consumers compare retail prices charged by pharmacies for the most frequently prescribed prescription drugs. By comparing prices here, consumers can see what a pharmacy has reported to the state that it charged for a specific Rx. You will find that prices for the exact medication will be different from pharmacy to pharmacy and from town to town. To...  Read More
Mar. 30, 2009 9:04 am
According to a February 2009 Kaiser Health tracking poll more than 53% of all Americans are cutting back on healthcare in someway because of costs concerns. The most common behaviors are relying on home remedies and over the counter drugs rather than going to the doctor. One in four have put off healthcare that they needed more generally and one in five have not filled a needed prescription...  Read More
Mar. 27, 2009 7:48 am
Health care premiums will be increasing as a result of the State Legislature approving the Governor’s proposed increases in taxes, fees and assessments on your health benefits as part of his Deficit Reduction Plan. This increase may very well come prior to your next annual renewal.   In short, as part of the Deficit Reduction Plan, the Governor has added to the State Premium tax and has...  Read More
Mar. 19, 2009 9:57 am
The DOL has released the new model notices today. We will be reviewing all new notices and sharing with you via email under which circumstances to use these new notices.   COBRA NOTICES  Read More
Mar. 14, 2009 11:41 am
All employers and employees now have a site that answers questions about the COBRA coverage under ARRA. Individuals who request treatment as an assistance eligible individual and are denied such treatment by their group health plan may have the right to appeal to the DOL. The DOL is currently developing a process and an official application form that will be required to be completed for appeals....  Read More
Feb. 4, 2009 8:58 am
Governor Patterson’s proposed State Budget will impose substantial additional costs to your employee and retiree health plans. These additional taxes and assessments will impact all plans including private business, schools, colleges & universities, hospitals and union funds. This proposed tax would impose a $1 assessment per claim over $20 that is processed under a self insured...  Read More
Jan. 23, 2009 11:23 am
Given the significant rise in unemployment and people unable to afford the costs of COBRA may people are going without Rx coverage.   Help is available for people to receive free or low cost prescription drugs thru PAP’s.   Patient Assistance Programs (PAP’s) are programs set up by drug companies that offer free or low cost drugs to individuals who are unable to pay for their...  Read More
Jan. 14, 2009 9:04 am
Cuomo Speaks Out on Victory [youtube=] Back in February 2008 I reported NY Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo was investigating United Healthcare and has subpoenaed 16 other health plans including Aetna, CIGNA, Humana, and Well Point a subsidiary of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to determine how they calculate UCR. UCR is the...  Read More
Jan. 12, 2009 5:28 pm
Starting January 2, 2009, and continuing through March 21, 2009, Stop & Shop pharmacies are offering a 14-day supply of the most commonly prescribed generic antibiotics for free. Simply bring in your valid prescription from your doctor. For a list of participating antibiotics, click here . For a list of frequently asked questions click here .  Read More
Dec. 20, 2008 8:00 am
The NYS Health Accountability Foundations has published the 2008 Regional Health Care Report Card, which presents access, service and quality data for all hospitals and commercial managed care plans in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island.   Review reportcards for Insurance Carriers and Hospitals  Read More
Dec. 19, 2008 3:12 pm
According to a recent Milliman study low Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals and providers has lead to higher health insurance costs for consumer and employers.   Given the faltering economic landscape fair payment by these government programs is paramount.   The gaps in payments to hospitals and providers are being subsidized by employers offering health...  Read More
Dec. 19, 2008 9:51 am
Beginning in July 2009, all children in NJ up to age 19 will be required to have health insurance under ”Kids First” mandate.   This is currently a soft mandate and does not access penalties for non compliance, but does provide many opportunities to obtain affordable coverage. One key feature of the reform is an expansion of the NJ FamilyCare to parents with incomes from 133% to 200% of the FPL....  Read More
Dec. 17, 2008 11:45 am
Patterson addresses obesity epidemic head on when he presented the state budget last Tuesday and proposed a tax on sugared beverages like soda. Research has demonstrated that soft-drink consumption is one of the main drivers of childhood obesity.  Read more  Here is NYS Gov. David Patterson: [youtube=]  Read More
Nov. 21, 2008 11:02 am
The U.S. Department of Labor has published a final rule on Nov. 17 to update its regulations under the 15-year-old Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — a measure that will help workers and their employers better understand their rights and responsibilities, and speed the implementation of a new law that expands FMLA coverage for military family members.   This final rule, for the first...  Read More
Nov. 15, 2008 11:59 am
Cook Hall & Hyde is committed to designing creative programs to assist the public sector in managing pre and post 65 retiree costs.  These costs have become and will continue to be significant given the impact of GASB 45. It is important that public employers assess the impact of any unfunded liabilities on their current and future finances so steps can be taken to mitigate this impact. ...  Read More to Shut Down Permanently on December 31, 2017

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