2010 and Older

Letter from the Director

The voters in this State have elected a Republican Governor and a Republican controlled Legislature signaling a desire to go in a different direction.

The Governor-elect Rick Snyder has promised tax reform as well as reform of state government. I, for one hope, he can do it.

MAFF has long been calling for tax or revenue reform. If this economy, along with the collapse of the housing market has proven anything, it is that Proposal A is not working.

Public employers throughout the state are forced to cut back services that its citizens have come to expect. Property tax revenue, the single biggest source of revenue for local government has been dramatically cut due to declining taxable values and the effect of Proposal A. Even if the economy could miraculously turn around overnight, and taxable values were to rise to what they were before the housing market would collapse, it would be at least a decade or more, before revenues would be restored to what they were in 2004.

Updates:

Alert: On June 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced (atwww.HealthReform.gov) that employers can begin submitting applications for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. Created by the Affordable Care Act, this program provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers, unions and state and local governments to help them maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare 

Applications for the program, as well as fact sheets and application assistance can be found here.

HHS Issues Regulations on Early Retiree Reinsurance Program
On May 4, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an interim final rule to implement the federal government's Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (see article below). The regulations are effective on June 1, 2010.

Eligible employers can apply for the program through HHS, which says applications will be available by the end of June 2010 (more information is available on the HHS web site, here).  Both self-funded and insured plans can apply, including plans sponsored by private entities, state and local governments, nonprofits, religious entities, unions and other employers.

To learn more about the regulations, see Early Retiree Reinsurance Program Starts June 1—First-Come, First-Served.

 

By: Chris Anderson

The Healthcare Performance Management Institute says recent research indicates insurers and benefits consultants are hindering employers' efforts to reduce healthcare costs.

HPM's "Barriers to Reducing and Controlling Healthcare Costs" examines what officials say are misguided incentives that riddle the insurance industry.

"Insurers and brokers have little incentive to help their clients reduce spending on health benefits," said George Pantos, executive director of the HPM Institute. "After all, most brokers and consultants are paid on commission - so the higher the cost of the policy they sell, the more money they make."

Pantos said one major impediment to employers gaining control over their healthcare costs is ready access to the data held by insurance companies - data that is collected and analyzed using software that is often controlled by the insurance companies.

 

A list of the MAPO Endorsements: 

Dear Members,

Last night, in a major victory for NAPO and the public safety community, the House of Representatives passed the Public Safety Employee-Employer Cooperation Act as part of the War Supplemental Appropriations Act, H.R. 4899. NAPO worked closely with House and Senate leadership to include the national public safety collective bargaining bill as part of the domestic spending package that the House voted to add to the War Supplemental Congressional Democratic leadership strongly supports granting public safety employees the right to bargain collectively and endorsed our belief that the best way to pass this vital legislation was as part of a larger, must-pass legislative package.