Monthly Archives: January 2017

Benefits Network Makes Holiday Delivery to Somerset Food Pantry


Missing from photo: Joni Thomas, Kari Imhoff, and Tracy Tirko

Somerset, Pennsylvania – Employees of Benefits Network and Your Health Insurance Shop teamed up to donate a pickup truck full of food to the Somerset Area Food Pantry.

Throughout the year, employees donate money and chip in $1 every time they choose to wear jeans to work (other than a Friday). At the end of the year $600 was collected to buy food for the Somerset Area Food Pantry.

As in years past, Casey Maschue and Debbie Sanner spearheaded the effort by checking bargains weeks ahead and shopping from local retailers.

Just before Christmas, Benefits Network employees gathered in the parking lot behind their Main Street Office to load Mashue’s pickup truck. Shown, left to right, are Debbie Sanner, Heather Kiraly, Tracey Kiesnowski, Deb Barron, Casey Maschue, Mandy Sujansky, Cristy Pritts, Kelly Barron and Holly Purbaugh

21st Century Cures Act Signed Into Law

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law.  While the act covers mainly medical research and innovations, it also includes a provision for Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Accounts, also known as a QSEHRA.

What is a QSEHRA?

A QSEHRA is available to employers for plan years beginning after December 31, 2016 and can be a great option for employers who have less than 50 full-time employees and do not currently offer group health benefits.  The QSEHRA is established to reimburse employees for their  individual health insurance premiums and eligible unreimbursed medical expenses.  Premiums paid to purchase other group health coverage (e.g. through a spouse’s employer sponsored plan) are NOT eligible for reimbursement through the QSEHRA.  QSEHRA eligibility requirements must be the same for all eligible employees although the HRA benefits can vary based on the age and family-size of the employee.

QSEHRA Rules and Regulations

  • Annual benefits under a QSEHRA cannot exceed $4,950.00 per year for a single subscriber or $10,000 per year for a family.
  • Employers must report contributions to an QSEHRA on the employees’ w-2 each year.
  • Employees who utilize the QSEHRA must report the reimbursement to the Marketplace when applying for subsidies and tax credits.  The reimbursement may affect the amount of subsidy and tax credit that the employee receives.
  •  The employer must provide a statement to employees which contains the following information:
    • The amount of funds available through the QSEHRA
    • Instructions for the employee to provide the statement to the Marketplace when applying for a subsidy or tax credit
    • A statement indicating that the reimbursements are taxable if the employee does not have minimum essential healthcare coverage.

Questions about setting up a  QSEHRA?  Call Benefits Network at 724 940 9400 (Wexford Office) or 814 445 4943 (Somerset Office)

Your Health Insurance Shop Agents Recognized by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Somerset, PA– Three Individual and Senior Product Specialists with Your Health Insurance Shop in Somerset were recognized recently as Nationwide Top Performing Agents by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Kelly Barron, Heather Kiraly and Cristy Pritts, received national recognition as members of the Champions Circle for their success during the 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment which runs November 1 through January 31, 2017.

Agents and brokers, who are certified through a registration process in order to assist people in enrolling in health insurance through the Marketplaces via, receive recognition when they exceed 20 consumers making plan selections on The Specialists at Your Health Insurance Shop located at 130 West Main Street in Somerset have already helped more than 200 individuals to choose a plan during this open enrollment season.

“Agents and brokers, like the ones we have recognized, are there for people in the community,” said Kevin Counihan, Marketplace CEO. “They help people get the coverage they need for their families, when they need it.”

Nationally, a record number of people signed up for Marketplace insurance coverage this fall with Pennsylvania among five states with the heaviest reported enrollment, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. People who still do not have health insurance for 2017 have until January 31 to sign up through the Marketplace via Your Health Insurance Shop agents will also help people determine if they are eligible for a tax subsidy, compare the health plan options and sign up online. There is no fee for their services. For more information, call 814.289.4222 or visit