March 2017

Health Care Reform – Where do we stand?

By now everyone knows the initial attempt to replace Obamacare with a more workable solution has failed. I’m sure another attempt will resurface later. Let’s focus on what we know and how President Trump’s executive order, signed in January, impacted Obamacare.

President Trump’s executive order is still in effect. – The primary focus of the executive order was for Federal agencies to minimize the economic burden of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pending repeal of the law. However, until further guidance or legislation, all ACA requirements remain in effect, including penalties for noncompliance.

The executive order specifically calls upon agencies to exercise authority and discretion to:

  • exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications;
  • provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs; and
  • encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers.

Although the penalties for noncompliance remain in effect it does give the appearance that there is an out. However, I don’t recommend you be the one to test it.

BMI – Good News for those trending on the Porky Side!

BMI, body mass index, measures the weight to height ratio. Good news for those trending on the high side, according to the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the optimum ratio is on the upper side of the index.

Currently, doctors define the normal range for BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight, while 30 or higher is obese. In the 1970s, the optimal BMI for the lowest risk of death was 23.7. By 1991-94, the optimal BMI had risen to 24.6, in 2003-2013, it reached 27.

Although the findings suggest the need to reevaluate the categories presently used to define overweight, which are based on data pre 1990s data, don’t start packing on those pounds. Health experts still maintain the risks of being overweight include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease – among other things.

Want to know your BMI? – BMI is calculated by weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.


Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services. We can customize a wellness plan for your budget and culture.

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