Important Guide to Health Reform Now Available to Employers and Brokers Throughout California

<0> The Word & Brown CompaniesPolly Neves, 714-567-4592 </0>

An important brochure designed to help California’s small employer groups (2-50 employees) understand and prepare for health reform is now available to insurance brokers and their clients free of charge through two divisions of : the and .

The brochure has been updated since its introduction in 2010 and reflects significant developments that have evolved over the past three years. It can be viewed at and .

“Our goal is to provide simple answers to health reform’s complex issues so that employers better understand the principal changes that are coming about,” said Administrators President and CEO Ron Goldstein. “It is important that employers prepare for these changes, take advantage of new tax credits, and prepare for the new requirements as established by law.”

One of the most significant aspects of health reform is the mandate that every state establishes a health insurance exchange by January 1, 2014, or default to a federal fallback program. Exchanges are designed to promote choice and make health insurance more affordable by allowing an individual or small business to compare the costs and benefits of various health plans side by side and choose the option that best fits their needs and budget. With that in mind the guide to health reform explains what exchanges are all about, outlines the differences between public and private exchanges, discusses tax credits and various subsidies available through the exchange, and explains the “metal rating” (platinum, gold, silver or bronze) of health plans participating in the public exchange as well as outside the public exchange.

The new guide also provides answers to such questions as: “Will I pay more or less for insurance coverage?” “Will I be required to provide employees with health insurance?” and “How do grandfathered plans continue to receive the same benefits?” In addition, the guide includes a simple timeline of healthcare reform implementation along with the “10 things every employer should know about health reform.”

As Word & Brown General Agency President Jessica Word explains, the new Employer Guide is part of an entire online , which was introduced last month to brokers associated with the Word & Brown General Agency division. “The center is designed to provide insurance brokers easy access to the information they need to help consumers and small business owners understand and comply with the new requirements contained in the Affordable Care Act,” says Word. “Included in the resource center are useful tools and information about eligibility, enrollment and tax credits. The center also provides information on health insurance exchanges including the California Health Benefit Exchange’s Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP), which will offer health insurance to groups with 50 or fewer employees.”

Operating nationally The Word & Brown Companies include The Word & Brown General Agency, with divisions focused on group, Medicare, individual and family insurance coverage; CONEXIS, the nation’s first outsourcing provider to offer benefits administration on a single, Web-based, fully integrated system; Administrators, the nation’s leading developer and distributor of health insurance exchange programs; Quotit Corporation, the foremost national provider of Internet sales and marketing solutions for the health insurance and employee benefits industry; and Health and Joppel by Health, which help individuals, families and seniors easily research, compare, buy and enroll in the right health insurance or Medicare Advantage, Medigap or prescription drug plan at the right price. The Word & Brown Companies have built strong relationships with partners across the country – including more than 55,000 brokers and hundreds of health plans through which they provide benefits and service to approximately 60,000 employers with nearly 6.5 million eligible employees and hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide. For more information about the firm, visit .