Health Insurance In Texas Is Not Just For Big Companies Any More

Called the backbone of America, small businesses are getting tax credits in 2010, which are designed to benefit their employees. As the Affordable Care Act begins to take effect, 293,000 small businesses in Texas will get help in the form of tax credits to make it easier to cover their employees with the protection of Texas health insurance.

Why Offer Tax Credits To Small Businesses?

On average, these small firms must spend about 18 percent more than large companies to offer their employees the same health insurance in Texas. That means employees working within small companies are much less likely to have access to health care because wages can’t keep up with the cost of insurance. These premiums rose three times faster than wages in the last decade.

Small businesses contribute approximately 70 percent of all new jobs in Texas. In spite of the recession, Texas actually gained small businesses in 2008, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. The number of self-employed people in Texas rose from 1.1 million by nearly two percent while the national number of self-employed fell by two percent to 15.9 million.

With stronger economic growth than in most areas of the U.S., growth in Texas remains highly entrepreneurial. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has shown one of the highest rates for new businesses in the nation.

What Does Health Care Reform Offer Small Businesses?

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act implements tax credits meant to offset the rising cost of health insurance premiums as an incentive for small businesses to add health insurance coverage for their employees. While 98 percent of big firms already include insurance among their benefits, only about 46 percent of the companies that employee less than 10 people offer employees health insurance. Even businesses with up to 50 employees only insure about half of their employees. That leaves about 52 percent of these workers without adequate health coverage.

By 2013, 3.4 million employees stand to benefit as their employers become eligible for these tax credits, which will increase the following year. In 2014, the tax credits grow from 35 to 50 percent of an employer’s premium contribution. That could mean up to $40 billion of support for small businesses in the coming decade.

Which Small Business Will Qualify For Tax Credits?

To be eligible, small business employers must pay for at least half of their employees’ premiums. The actual amount of the tax credit will depend on the size of the company and the amount of the average wage paid by the firm. Tax credits are just phase one of the help coming for Texans who don’t have adequate insurance coverage.

Small businesses will have the option to insure employees via a state exchange in 2014. The exchange can lower premium costs because medical bills incurred by members can be offset with premiums collected from healthy members who incur no medical bills.

The exchange must offer plans with comprehensive benefits, and no insurers will be allowed to discriminate against those who are sick by denying them coverage in 2014. The deductibles for the plans for small businesses will be limited to $2,000 or less for individuals and to $4,000 or less for families.

What If You Don’t Receive Texas Health Insurance Through Employment?

People who don’t get health insurance in Texas through their employers will be able to buy from the Texas exchange. These Texas insurance plans will limit an individual’s out-of-pocket costs to $5,950. Family plans will restrict the maximum out-of-pocket expenses to $11,900.

Beginning in 2010, insurers must report how much of the premiums they collect are being spent on health care for the people paying the premiums. In the following year, plans for individual and small businesses must keep administrative costs down to 20 percent or less of the total premiums collected. If they exceed that limit, insurers will have to give rebates to those they insure.

Federal and state governments will also be empowered to approve premium rate increases to prevent insurers from needlessly hiking rates for greater profit. These health care reform measures are designed to protect thousands more Americans with access to adequate health care for the time in our country.

Medical Billing – DA0 Record Fields 17 – 32

In this installment of our series on medical billing of claims electronically, using NSF 3.01 specifications, we’re going to conclude our review of the DA0 record, which is the record that identifies the payer to whom the claim is being transmitted and whom will ultimately be paying this claim to the patient or insured. We’ll begin with field number 17.

DA0 field 17, positions 155 – 156, is the patient relationship to insured code. This requires a brief explanation. In many cases, the patient and the insured are the same person. In some cases, however, the patient is covered under another person’s insurance, such as a child being covered under a parent’s insurance. It has to be stated here how the patient is related to the insured so the payer can check to see if the patient is actually covered under the insured’s policy. If not, the claim will not be paid.

DA0 field 18, positions 157 – 181, is the patient’s ID or Medicare number. Most electronic claims billed are usually to Medicare but in the cases where they are not an ID number still needs to be transmitted. Fortunately, the industry has been standardized so that the ID numbers are all the same length.

DA0 fields 19, 20 and 21, positions 182 – 214, are the insured’s last name, first name and middle initial. It is important to note that this is the insured’s name and NOT the patient’s name because the patient may be insured under another policy.

DA0 field 22, positions 215 – 217, is the patient’s generation. This is required if the patient has a name like Charles Johnson III.

DA0 field 23, position 218, is the patient’s gender, which is a one character code. M if for male and F is for female.

DA0 field 24, positions 219 – 226, is the patient’s date of birth. The format of this date will be determined by the rules of the carrier. Some are yyyymmdd and others are mmddyyyy. So please check the specs for that particular carrier.

DA0 field 25, position 227, is the employment status, which is a one character code, such as E for employed, U for unemployed, etc.

DA0 field 26, position 228, is the supplemental insurance indicator. This is an indicator that tells the payer if the insured has other insurance besides their primary carrier. This must be filled in so they know how much to pay.

DA0 field 27, positions 229 – 235, is the Title 19 Identifier. Explaining what Title 19 is, is beyond the scope of this article so check with your carrier on this.

DA0 field 28, positions 236 – 260, is the patient’s Medicaid number. If the patient has Medicaid, this field must be filled in even if you are not billing Medicaid.

DA0 field 29, positions 261 – 285, is the patient’s supplemental ID number. This is in case the patient has other insurance. That ID number must be filled in here.

DA0 field 30, position 286, is the assignment for 4081 claim indicator. The explanation of a 4081 claim is beyond the scope of this article. Please check with your carrier.

DA0 field 31, position 287, is the COB routing indicator. COB stands for Coordination Of Benefits and this indicator needs to be filled in if the patient has other insurance.

DA0 field 32, positions 288 – 320, is filler national and must be left blank.

This concludes our three part review of the DA0 record for medical billing of claims electronically using NSF 3.01 specifications.

The Best Exercises for Weight Loss in 2014

The benefits of habitual daily exercise are tremendous on different levels. Regular daily exercise will help you shred fat and maintain a healthy weight by increasing your metabolism and utilizing caloric storage.

It will help you sleep better and can also reduce the effects of aging. That’s not a bad deal at all; exercise regularly and live a longer, healthier life. Joints, ligaments and tendons will sustain flexibility through exercise.

It will also reduce your risk of different diseases, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes as well as uplift your mental well-being.

Remember: Before changing your diet or physical activity – consult with your family doctor or physician.

Exercising regularly will also help increase your endurance while relieving you of stress and anxiety. Exercise in general can leave you looking and feeling better physically… and not to mention more energized.

There are three main types of exercises; flexibility exercises, aerobic exercises and anaerobic exercises. Each exercise group is unique.

Flexibility exercises include anything that improves the range of movement of your joints or muscles. Stretching and mobility exercises do exactly that and can be your first series of actions before moving on to anaerobic or aerobic exercise routine.

Aerobic exercise is an exercise that is focused on increasing your cardiovascular endurance. These exercises (mixed with anaerobic exercises) will help you burn fat and improve the overall health of your heart and blood distribution.

Examples of aerobic exercises are walking, jogging, running, jump rope, yoga, rowing, cycling, hiking and sports like tennis.

Anaerobic exercise is any physical activity that promotes strength, power, and speed.

Weight training is a prime example of this type of exercise. People who go for mass (who want to bulk up on muscle) use this type of exercise.

All physical exercise will help improve your overall physical skills as well as help you shrink fat cells and never be overweight or fat again – if kept up on a regular basis.

The general categories of physical skills are flexibility, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, strength, stamina, coordination, balance, power, speed, accuracy and agility.

Daily physical activity will also help boost your immune system. This means that if you get the common cold or flu often, you will notice that will start to fade.

Physical exercise can be practiced for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. The more repetitive you are with physical activity means the more results you will notice. It’s up to you to decide how much exercise is good for you to start off with.

The more pounds you have, the heavier you are, and that means it will take more energy out of you when you begin to exercise – and that’s a good thing.

The results you want will develop according to your ability to do the exercise, the repetitions of the exercise and the amount of time and effort you put into it.

Put in little time and little effort and you can only expect little results.

Don’t push yourself too hard at the beginning but do as much physical activity as you can. You will soon realize that day by day, you are losing more and more weight.

The term “compound interest” also works with exercising. Look at the long term effects and not just the short term. If you start small, always change the length of your overall routine every week.

If the first week you start stretching for 10 minutes and walk for 10 minutes, the second week you can stretch for the same 10 minutes and walk for 15 minutes.

The third week could be a 20 minute walk and the fourth week can change to 25 minutes and so on.

ALWAYS CHALLENGE YOURSELF.

There is nothing that you can’t do.

Twenty Weight Loss Tips for 2014… To Infinity and Beyond!

1. Its not about a weight loss program… – its about fat loss for personal fitness, personal health and self love. Chances are if you are Googling weight loss, you’re just a tad frustrated with status quo.

2. Skip the fad diets, weight loss foods, lose weight fast programs, exercise gadgets, weight loss supplements, focus on redesigning your life and finding true love within yourself. Its not a “diet plan” its a life plan.

3. It is NOT about going to the gym X number of times per week. It is about physical activity, exercise and training… what you love and what we can fit into your schedule. If you think “No time” is a reason for no exercise, no offence but you don’t know what exercise is.

4. Wear a pedometer… the simplest way to boost your health… the truth serum of activity

5. Setting DEEP goals and incentives. No “I have to lose weight for the wedding”. Real deep, goals that require serious, intrusive self discovery.

We don’t “find ourselves” in life… we create ourselves… create, hone, create hone…

6. ALWAYS think of your kids, family… that’s focus!

7. We are our children’s #1 role model & mentor – for better or worse.

8. If you are feeling tortured or deprived… keep searching

9. Make sure your Gastrointestinal health is optimized… not about popping supplements! Belly fat is very complex!

10. Its not just about the scale… wear fitting clothes, use a tape measure

11. Blood work: I happen to believe the most meaningful encouraging reward of all: get a blood test now, and after 6 months of your “love your life” program – retest. Wowww!

12. Journal – self diarize… its not just about food and exercise… don’t forget the Kudos column!

13. This is truly the hardest part: Analyze your eating habits, patterns, timing, triggers, food choices… not an easy process to open up with ourselves

14. Comfort foods are a must and fact of reality – Let’s find ones that comfort your mood and comfort your health

15. Analyze friendships… the very best way to show love for another is by contributing to their health… are they looking to contribute to your health or a partner in crime?

16. Alcohol… empty calories that contribute nothing positive to your health or nutrition, cause the body to store fat, and cause us to drunk drive, and drunken eating binges!

17. Make it real… real, realistic you… its not about trying to be a Hollywood icon. Celebrate yourself

18. Look at your love yourself program as your fat loss, anti aging, beauty secrets, brain building opportunity. Welcome challenges as an opportunity to conquer!

19. Learn to identify and be acutely aware of physiological changes and rewards: energy, focus, mood, self pride…
20. Hire a health coach, not strictly a personal trainer. A health coach is well seasoned in addressing collectively your health risks. By taking an integrated approach to a higher health and fitness level, you will feel more empowered, and reap the rewards of stronger physiological rewards, to keep you faithful and in love. Divide & conquer your inner saboteurs, allowing your healthiest, happiest you to rise to power!

Picking a Lift Kit Becomes More Challenging With GM’s Redesign of the New 2014 Pickup’s Suspension

GM’s New 2014 1500 Pickup’s Suspension

GM has redesignined the new 1500 Pickup by adding a new suspension option for consumers. The models from 2007-2013 came equipped with a front Coilover Control Arm suspension. The new 2014 model will continue to utilize that suspension. The 2014’s however, will be made out of different materials than their predecessors. Consumers will have a two choices in 2014.

  • A forged aluminum version
  • A steel version

While this move creates a new set of options, the changes also create new questions for lift kit buyers.

Buying a Lift Kit for Your New GM Pickup

After buying your new rig, you will want to make it stand out from all the others. If you are considering the purchase of leveling kit, you will be pleased to discover that most of these kits will fit either of the new GM suspension models.

If you are looking for a lift kit for your new truck, you will absolutely need to know which suspension you have. The kits for the aluminum version are not compatible on the steel version of the suspension. Likewise, you will be disappointed in an effort to install the steel version of the lift kit on a truck with the aluminum suspension option. Shipping on these kits can be expensive, so verify that you are getting the correct kit before making your purchase.

How Can I tell Which Version of the Suspension is on my Truck?

There are a few visible signals which you can use to quickly determine which version of the suspension you have. The models released earlier in the year have the following differences:

Aluminum Factory Suspension:

These vehicles come equipped with forged aluminum steering knuckles and aluminum upper and lower control arms. This suspension is most commonly installed on the 4WD Crew Cabs with 5’8″ beds and the 4WD Regular Cabs with 6’6″ beds.

Steel Factory Suspension:

These vehicles come with cast steel steering knuckles and forged steel upper and lower control arms. GM has indicated that all trucks other than the 4WD Crew Cabs with 5’8″ beds and the 4WD Regular Cabs with 6’6″ beds will come standard with the steel front component suspension.

Be sure that you know

While the information provided by GM represents the standard configuration, you should check your steering knuckles and control arms to be sure that you order the correct lift kit.

GM could change the standard suspension offering for these special versions at any time. Visually inspect your vehicle’s factory suspension before ordering a lift kit. If you have any difficulty determining which suspension you have, most automotive professionals would be happy to take a quick look and confirm what your truck is outfitted with.

A few minutes of inspection can save you from a potentially costly mistake. Take the time to get it right the first time.

Good Luck, and enjoy that new truck.