Human Resources

2012 Health Insurance Notice & Updates

Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA)

The Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) provides protections for individuals who elect breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Under WHCRA, group health plans offering mastectomy coverage must also provide coverage for certain services relating to the mastectomy, in a manner determined in consultation with the attending physician and the patient. Required coverage includes all stages of reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance, prostheses and treatment of physical compilations of the mastectomy, including lymphedema.

Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance (CHIP)

If you are eligible for health coverage from your employer, but are unable to afford the premiums, some states (Massachusetts included) have premium assistance programs that can help pay for coverage.

If you or your dependent(s) are not currently enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP and you think your dependent(s) might be eligible, you can contact the Massachusetts Medicaid or CHIP office; dial 1-877-KIDS-NOW or visit to find out how to apply. If you qualify, you can ask the State if it has a program that might help you pay the premiums for an employer-sponsored plan. Once it is determined that you or your dependent(s) is eligible for premium assistance under Medicaid or CHIP, your employer’s health plan is required to permit your dependent(s)to enroll in the plan—as long as you and your dependents are eligible, but not already enrolled in the employer’s plan. You have 60 days to request coverage after it is determined you are eligible for premium assistance.

Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA) / Health Care Reform Update

Uniform Summary of Benefits Coverage

IRS and the Department of Labor and Health and Human Services recently issued proposed regulation that identifies the standards for uniform explanation of coverage requirement. Benefit summaries may include the following provisions: Uniform definitions of insurance and medical terms, premium and cost sharing provisions, description of plan coverage, plan contact information, etc. This is scheduled to take effect in 2012 for 2013 benefits.

Impact: Emerson will be required to provide this information to employees in 2012 for 2013 open enrollment.

Lifetime and Annual Limits on Essential Health Benefits

Lifetime and annual limits are illegal for non-grandfathered plans under PPACA. However, grandfathered plans can impose annual limits of $750,000 for plans beginning on or before September 23, 2011. Annual maximums increase to $2,000,000 for plan years after September 22, 2012 and before 2014.

Impact: Emerson does not have annual or lifetime limits on any of its medical plans.

State-Based Exchanges

Under the PPACA, state-based Exchanges will be setup and used by individuals and businesses to purchase health insurance. Individuals who qualify for Medicaid, federal subsidies, or tax credits will also be able to use Exchanges to select health insurance. The Exchanges are scheduled to be operational in each state by January 2014.

Impact: Emerson provides medical insurance to eligible employees. Optional medical coverage is available through the MA Connector for those who qualify prior to 2014.

Change in Annual Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Limit

Beginning on January 1, 2013, FSA contributions will be limited to $2,500 each year with annual inflation increases.

Impact: Emerson currently allows employees to contribute up to $3,000 annually. Employees who contribute greater than $2,500 annually will have to adjust their annual contribution for 2013. Employees will still be allowed to contribute up to $3,000 annually in 2012.

Emerson will break ground for its new center in Los Angeles on March 8

Emerson celebrated the opening of its new facility on Sunset Boulevard on January 12, 2014.

Emerson Los Angeles

Emerson College's new facility in Los Angeles is now open to students. We will continue to post new positions related to our expanded presence in Los Angeles. Further information will be available when Job Opportunities are posted.