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Smart Benefits: Safe Harbor for Online Insurance Policies Ends Nov. 1

Monday, October 12, 2015


In June, the Departments of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services issued final regulations on the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) requirement under the ACA that – among other things – called for insurance companies and group health plans to include in the SBC an Internet address where copies of the individual coverage policy or certificate of coverage can be accessed. 

The requirement was effective for open enrollment periods beginning on or after September 1, 2015. But after realizing some issuers couldn’t make these documents accessible online in time, HHS said it wouldn’t enforce this provision – yet that relief ends Nov. 1.

In a recent FAQ, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services stated that if a group health insurance issuer is required to provide the web address on the SBC before October 31, 2015, HHS wouldn’t take enforcement action as long as the issuer provides the URL no later than November 1, 2015. Starting then, all group and individual health insurance issuers are expected to provide a web address for the group certificate of coverage or individual policy documents by the date which the SBC is otherwise required under the final rules.

With respect to individual market coverage beginning on or after January 1, 2016, early posting of SPCs is not required. 

Rob Calise is the Managing Director, Employee Benefits. of Cornerstone|Gencorp , where he helps clients control the costs of employee benefits by focusing on consumer driven strategies and on how to best utilize the tax savings tools the government provides. Rob serves as Chairman of the Board of United Benefit Advisors, and is a board member of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI Broker Advisory Board, United HealthCare of New England Broker Advisory Board and Rhode Island Business Healthcare Advisors Council. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), American Health Insurance Association (AHIA) and the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), as well as various human resource associations. Rob is a graduate of Bryant University with a BS in Finance.


Related Slideshow: 2015 Worcester Business Award Winners

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of the 2015 Worcester Business Awards.

Here are the Winners:

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Richard B Kennedy Business of the Year

Imperial Distributors

"For its outstanding commitment and dedication to the Chamber’s mission, vision, and values.  Founded in 1939, the company will celebrate its 75th anniversary as the performance leader in supermarket non-foods distribution and merchandising services. Under President and CEO Michael Sleeper’s leadership, Imperial has made substantial contributions to the continued economic vitality of the region through community investment and service." - WRCC

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The Small Business of the Year

West Side Steak & BBQ

"As a small eatery, Westside Steak & BBQ continues to demonstrate that excellent customer service and high quality food are part of the recipe for a great business model! " - WRCC

Address: 2A Richmond Ave, Worcester

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The Entrepreneur of the Year

Skyscope Creative

"Founded in 2012, the eight-person operation is an eclectic mix of filmmakers, marketers, designers, and motion graphics artists producing high quality, award-winning videos. The company believes that the right video in the right place can deliver massive impact." - WRCC

Address: 40 Jackson Street, Suite 1120, Worcester

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The Family-Owned Business of the Year

Percy's TV and Appliance

"As a member of the Worcester business community for more than 80 years, the Lavine family has carried on a rich tradition of providing stellar customer service and exceptional products, and has demonstrated a commitment to the community. "- WRCC

Address: 19 Glennie Street, Worcester

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The Chamber Advocate of the Year

Jim Donoghue, Owner of Tweed's Pub

"A member of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. Mr. Donoghue during his time on the Board has helped to govern the Chamber in its mission to support the region’s business community, specifically the small business owner." -WRCC

Address: 229 Grove Street, Worcester

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The Chamber’s Silver Hammer Awards

"The awards are given yearly by the Chamber to acknowledge construction or rehabilitation projects that have an extraordinary visual and aesthetic impact on our physical landscape and that have brought new life to some of the region’s most historic assets." - WRCC

Spencer Bank - " For its rehabilitation of the former Fire & Telegraph Building on Park Avenue into a branch and a community room for public use" - WRCC

Winn Companies - " For its restoration of the former Worcester Technical High School into market-rate housing known as the Voke Lofts." - WRCC

Commerce Bank - "For its restoration of The Slater Building on Main Street." - WRCC

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The Joe Cohen Retailer of the Year Award

Crompton Collective

"For growing business through innovative ideas, such as the addition of a farmer’s market and most recently, the addition of a unique event venue." - WRCC

Address: 138 Green Street, Worcester

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Ambassador of the Year Award

Maureen Raillo, President and CEO, WLimo

"For her continued support over the years—whether at golf tournaments, committee meetings, after-work events—to advance the mission of the Chamber." - WRCC

Address: 219 West Boylston Street, West Boylston


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