The ACA blog provides readers with information to help them advance their knowledge, achieve their professional goals and strive for excellence, while also creating a greater sense of community among chiropractors nationwide through online engagement and information-sharing with their colleagues.

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Summer Shaping Up to Be Time of Change in Health Policy

Proposal, Final Rule and Other Initiatives Aim to Reshape Medicare and Affordable Care Act

http://www.twitter.com/acaonthehillSummer is often a time in Washington where the business of government seems to slow down as everyone starts to look forward to the August recess and dreads the oncoming heat and humidity.  However, this year is a change from years past, as not only has Washington pretty much been spared oppressive temperatures, but the Senate has decided to stick around most of August and the Trump Administration has issued a proposal, and a final regulation, that could very well shape healthcare policy for years to come.

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New Rule on AHPs Could Lead To a ‘Race to the Bottom’ Market for Health Plans

On June 19, the U.S. Department of Labor released a long-awaited final rule expanding the availability of alternative insurance plans that do not need to meet the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s benefit requirements.  The rule was handed down despite deep concerns from consumer advocates, state officials and physician groups, including the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). The rule will extend so-called “association health plans,” which allow insurance companies to skirt benefit requirements and other parts of the 2010 law.

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Social Security: Understand Your Options, Plan Properly to Access Benefits

Social Security was enacted in 1935. The program is officially known as the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program (OASDI). After earning 40 quarters, an individual at retirement age is eligible to begin collecting a benefit. Retirement benefits depend on your age at retirement. If you begin receiving benefits before your normal or full retirement age (FRA), you'll receive a reduced benefit. Four out of five future retirees agree that the Social Security system needs change. Many are fearful that benefits will be reduced and are unaware of the basics regarding their eligibility, participation and the monetary benefits of their Social Security profile. Sadly, 55 percent believe that Social Security will be their primary source of income in retirement.

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Senate Clears Bill Extending Funding for Veterans Choice Program

*Member-Exclusive Content* A bill combining the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) seven community care programs easily cleared the Senate May 23 with a vote of 92-5. Included among the programs is the Veterans Choice Program, which allows veterans to seek care from private providers, including chiropractors. The bill also eliminates previous requirements for accessing outside services. While this is a promising development, the American Chiropractic Association will closely monitor resulting regulations and implementation in consideration of past issues chiropractors have experienced with the Veterans Choice Program.

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Author: Jack Dusik
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Lulled Into a False Sense of Security

Finding and Communicating Effectively with Financial Advisors

Less than 50 percent of the U.S. population consult and hire a financial consultant. There is a myriad of answers for why this may be. Those who do work with a financial professional have an expectation of certain results. If the goals are realistic and not achieved within a given time period, a client should obtain a clear explanation as to why discussed benchmarks were not reached. Additionally, a planner should convey concise and easily understood explanations of any suggested changes going forward. There are times where nothing should be done. Open communication is an essential part of the financial planning process.

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Cooking Techniques and Financial Management

Whether baking a cake or preparing unique dishes, both require the necessary and assorted ingredients: time, expertise, finesse and the ability to tweak the recipe to obtain the desired results. Guess what? Portfolio construction and financial management may not be all that different. In effect, a financial professional is expected to build an investor’s portfolio after carefully ascertaining precisely what is the individual’s risk tolerance, challenges, goals, timeline for investing and end-point needs. Yet how does an investor go about locating a financial professional in the universe of available services and the multitude of different titles?

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Taxes, Football and Conflicting Rules

When you play in a sport and follow the rules there is an expectation of a fair game with a winner and loser. If you watched the recent Super Bowl you may have seen two touchdowns by the Philadelphia Eagles that were scored and upheld. The National Football League (NFL) "catch rule" has garnered much consternation as being interpreted differently by officials. Confusing may be an understatement. This rule seems to vex coaches, players, fans and media announcers, causing much head scratching. Whether your team won or lost, this rule is maddening. Those who love the game agree that this rule needs to be carefully reviewed and changed. So, what does this have to do with taxes?

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Blues Plans Issuing Denials for Certain Modifiers

ACA has recently heard from members in a few states that some Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are automatically denying claims that contain the -25 and -59 modifiers. The states we have heard from to date include Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. The Blues plans in these states are owned by Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), an umbrella company that also owns the Blues plans in Montana and New Mexico. ACA has since learned that a new code-auditing enhancement is the source of the denials. 

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ACA Convenes Stakeholder Forum to Address Opioid Crisis, Collaboration

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) hosted a historic Stakeholder Collaborative Forum on Jan. 26 at Northwestern Health Sciences University to delve deeper into the current market need for chiropractors in combating the opioid crisis as well as issues related to chiropractors working within or in collaboration with hospitals and health systems. Michele Maiers, DC, PhD, facilitated the meeting with the primary goal to identify industry trends and how to position members to be successful.  Several qualities were identified and work groups were established to help guide ACA in the creation of toolkits we can provide for our members. 

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Wills, Trusts and Other Estate Planning Options

Estate planning is one of the most common topics of discussion between financial planners and their clients. The first step toward ensuring that the wealth you build and enjoy during your lifetime will enhance the lives of your children or other recipients for decades to come is having a basic understanding of the options available to you for distributing your assets after death. 

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