What’s Next for Trump’s Tax Reform Plan

Tax reform took on new urgency for the Trump administration after it was unable to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare), but disagreements that persist between the president and GOP leaders in Congress have put any action in doubt for now. The Senate has passed a budget plan, but no specifics regarding tax reform have been worked out yet, leaving the issue’s fate uncertain. For advisors and consumers alike, this means a wait-and-see situation. “Don’t overreact or make any reactionary plans based off of something that isn’t law, but make sure you’re aware of the changes that are being proposed,” says Garrett Oakley, a certified financial planner at Betterment, an investment adviser. Here’s what could be in store on tax reform. Fewer Tax Brackets While most experts agree that the number of tax brackets is likely to be reduced, it’s unclear what …

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Employees Question Making Right Health Plan Choice on Their Own

Employees Question Making Right Health Plan Choice on Their Own

Having a choice of several health plans is important to workers, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) study, “Views on Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings from the 2014 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey.” Although the research revealed most employees would like more choices than they currently have, the majority (85%) reported they believe their unions or employers selected the best health plan available. “But they are not as confident in their ability to choose the best available plan if their employers or unions did, in fact, stop offering coverage,” Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program, pointed out. Surveyed employees indicated they weren’t highly comfortable using a rating system to choose health insurance on their own. They also expressed doubt that a rating system could help them decide on the best health insurance. When workers do choose between offered plans, the cost of premiums and …

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What Exactly is a State Health Exchange?

State health exchange, government-run insurance

What is a state health exchange? It is a government-run insurance marketplace and part of the Affordable Care Act program.  The Affordable Care Act requires state Exchanges to provide health insurance information in a manner that is easy to comprehend for consumers. State Exchanges offer information from multiple carriers via information kiosks placed in key locations. Exchanges Have 5 Main Functions: To make comparing plans and prices easy for people. To create competition so people get the best rates. To offer truthful information about plans, premiums, coverage, benefits, and other benefits-related issues. To provide a place to purchase insurance coverage while a person is either unemployed or in transition from one job to another. And, for those who need assistance, to serve as portals where people can check for eligibility and subsidies, and then help them enroll in plans and pay premiums via a call center system. The Exchanges have …

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