January 2015 - New Pennsylvania Law Requires Criminal Background Checks

As of December 31, 2014. Pennsylvania Act 153 of 2014 requires that employees and volunteers who have direct contact or are responsible for the welfare of a child must obtain three background check clearances. Determination of who needs clearance and timeframes for implementation vary (some commence as early as July 2, 2015.)

The required background check clearances include:

  1. Criminal History Record Information -obtained from the Pennsylvania State Police ($10 fee)
  2. Child Abuse Clearance -obtained through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services certifying the applicant is not named in the statewide database “as the alleged perpetrator in a pending child abuse investigation or as the perpetrator of a founded report or indicated report “ of child abuse ($10 fee.)
  3. Federal Criminal History Record Information – obtained by submitting a full set of fingerprints to Cogent Systems for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ($27.50 fee)

Volunteers are not required to complete the FBI clearance (#3) if they have lived continuously in Pennsylvania over the previous 10 years and are working an unpaid position. However, they must swear or affirm in writing that they are not barred from volunteering due to a conviction or offense under Section 6344. Volunteers who reside outside of Pennsylvania may serve as a volunteer for no more than 30 days as long as they provide clearances from their home state or county. Those volunteering longer than 30 days must obtain clearance through the state of Pennsylvania.

Please be sure to consult your legal counsel when making determinations and/or interpretations. You should also discuss with your insurers possible insurance coverage implications.

2015 - Afordable Care Act Update

New regulations concerning college accident and sickness for 2015 include:

  1. Rate parity- If dependents are covered under the same program benefits as the student, the cost to the dependent, (whether it be spouse or child) must be the same as the student.
  2. If Intercollegiate Sports coverage is added to the student accident and sickness, the benefit must be unlimited. It is an “all or nothing” item.
  3. All student health programs must be comparable to one of the Metallic plans as set forth by the ACA regulations.

January 2014 - Afordable Care Act Update

Medicaid expanded across the United States to an income level up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line in every state, (a handful of states, including Texas and Florida, have announced that they will not go along with this part of ObamaCare and because of the Supreme Court ruling the federal government cannot punish them financially for their non-compliance).

Health exchanges selling insurance to individuals and small business begin to operate in each state in the United States (if a state does not set one up - some like Florida and Alaska have announced they won't - the federal government will create and run it for them).

Individual Mandate Tax - Americans who do not obtain health insurance expose themselves to a maximum penalty of $285 per year.

Adults age 18 and older can no longer be rejected for insurance because of a pre-existing health condition. Young adults under age 30 can buy low-priced catastrophic insurance through exchanges.

Insurance plans must cover "essential health benefits" (approved preventive tests covered as of September 2010).

Maximum tax credit of 50 percent available to small businesses with 25 or fewer employees (available for two years before it expires at the end of 2015).

~taken from Obamacare Survival Guide

Good Advice

Parents should know: Children under age 18 can no longer be rejected by insurers because they have a pre-existing health condition. Children up to age 26 can be insured as dependents covered by their parents' insurance policy

Prevention Procedures
Receiving "A" or "B" rating by USPSTF
ProcedureGroup Recommended For
Aspirin to Prevent Heart DiseaseMen 45-99, Women 55-79
Cervical Cancer ScreeningSexually active women
Colorectal Cancer ScreeningAdults 50-75
High Blood Pressure ScreeningAdults 18+
Tabacco Use CounselingAdults 18+
Breast Cancer MammogramWomen 50-74
Depression ScreeningTeens, Adults 18+
Health Diet CounselingAdults with risk of heart disease
Obesity ScreeningChildren 6-17, Adults 18+
Type 2 Diabetes ScreeningAdults with high blood pressure
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