Employer’s responsibility under the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act includes a variety of provisions that reform the insurance market and encourage small businesses to offer health insurance. Depending on whether you are an employer with fewer than 25 employees, one with fewer than 50 employees or an employer with 50 or more employees there are different requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Today’s guest is Brenda Procter, associate professor of family finance for University of Missouri Extension.

 

 

Affordable Care Act and Small Business

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? – Asian Carp
Executive Chef Eric Cartwright serving up Pasta Puttanesca using silver carp instead of anchovies (Photo by Jon Lamb)

Executive Chef Eric Cartwright serving up Pasta Puttanesca using silver carp instead of anchovies (Photo by Jon Lamb)

Asian carp  average 30-40 pounds and are voracious eaters capable of consuming 5-20 percent of their body weight every day. They eat algae and other small microscopic organisms, stripping rivers of a key food source for small and big fish. They grow big very quickly meaning natural predators can’t control their population numbers.

They are choking the rivers in the Midwest and threatening the Great Lakes. But a University of Missouri researcher says there’s one carnivore that can bring this invasive species under control…humans. MU has found a way to eliminate the bones creating a healthy and inexpensive ground protein.

Today’s guests are Mark Morgan, an associate professor of parks, recreation and tourism for the University of Missouri and Eric Carpenter, executive chef for the University of Missouri.

 

 

Asian Carp Control

 

 

Silver carp, disturbed by a boat, leap into the air (Photo by Jason Jenkins)

Silver carp, disturbed by a boat, leap into the air (Photo by Jason Jenkins)

Tax refund? How will you use it?
"I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (Photo by Mikhail Popov)

“I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (Photo by Mikhail Popov)

Most of us know Benjamin Franklin’s saying about death and taxes. We also know that neither is very pleasant. But, many taxpayers will see a refund this year and will have to decide what to do with their sudden windfall.

Today’s guest is Andrew Zumwalt, assistant professor of finance for University of Missouri Extension. He has a few suggestions about how to put your refund to good use.

 

 

Missouri Taxpayer Education

Get Your Free Credit Report

January went from bitter cold to mild temperatures
"Winter is the season in which people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer, when they complained about the heat." ~ Author Unknown (Photo by Aureliy Movila )

“Winter is the season in which people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer, when they complained about the heat.” ~ Author Unknown (Photo by Aureliy Movila )

Temperatures in January were a pendulum swing for Missouri.  While there were many bitter cold days, unlike our neighbors in New England, the Show-Me State saw very little snow.

Today’s guest is Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program.

Missouri Climate Center

Living Apart, Together – A choice that’s working for older couples
“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.” ~ writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Photo by Mike DelGaudio)

“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.” ~ writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Photo by Mike DelGaudio)

Some older adults are finding traditional marriage a less desirable choice for later-in-life relationships. Jacquelyn Benson, a University of Missouri Extension gerontology specialist, has been studying older adults in Living Apart, Together, or LAT relationships. For LAT couples, each partner maintains their own home, but they are in a committed, intimate relationship.

Today’s guests are researcher Jacquelyn Benson and Robert Dolliver and Joyce Huber who are in a LAT relationship with each other.

 

 

Living Apart, Together

Businesses using health reimbursement plans could be in a pickle
“You don’t pay taxes – they take taxes.” ~ comedian Chris Rock (Photo by Levy Choi)

“You don’t pay taxes – they take taxes.” ~ comedian Chris Rock (Photo by Levy Choi)

A Department of Labor decision in November last year declared that employers who do not offer health insurance but instead reimburse employees for the cost of acquiring health insurance have essentially established a “group health plan.” These plans would then be subject to ACA market reforms and be deemed non-compliant because the accounts impose limits on the amount of reimbursement and may not cover all required health benefits. This decision was made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014. Non-compliance comes with a stiff fee.

Today’s guest is Brenda Procter, associate professor of family finance for University of Missouri Extension. She explains the ruling, the penalty and what employers need to do to avoid a fine.

2015 sign-up deadline for Affordable Care Act marketplace fast approaching
“Your body is your most priceless possession…so go take care of it!” ~ Jack Lalanne (Photo by Robert Linder)

“Your body is your most priceless possession…so go take care of it!” ~ Jack Lalanne (Photo by Robert Linder)

If you’re planning to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, time is running out. You only have until February 15.

This is the first year there is a fee if you didn’t have health insurance in 2014. There are many exceptions to avoid the fees. Graham McCaulley and Brenda Procter, both associate professors of family finances for University of Missouri Extension, explain these fees and the exemptions.

 

 

MU Extension Health Insurance Initiative

Affordable Care Act marketplace

Master Gardener Online Training from University of Missouri Extension
"Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes." ~ Author Unknown (Photo courtesy of the National Garden Bureau)

“Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.” ~ Author Unknown (Photo courtesy of the National Garden Bureau)

You no longer need to travel great distances to get training for Master Gardener certification. Now the training is offered online. Check out: Missouri Master Gardener Online Training.

Vitamin C and the Common Cold
“If a potato can produce vitamin C, why can't we? Within the animal kingdom only humans and guinea pigs are unable to synthesize vitamin C in their own bodies. Why us and guinea pigs? No point asking. Nobody knows.”  ~ Bill Bryson, author of “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” (Photo by USDA's Scott Bauer}

“If a potato can produce vitamin C, why can’t we? Within the animal kingdom only humans and guinea pigs are unable to synthesize vitamin C in their own bodies. Why us and guinea pigs? No point asking. Nobody knows.” ~ Bill Bryson, author of “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” (Photo by USDA’s Scott Bauer}

How much vitamin C do you take during cold and flu season? A thousand milligrams…4 thousand. Did you know that body can only process a certain amount of vitamin C and anything left over is flushed away with all your other waste?

Today’s guest is University of Missouri Extension nutritionist Tammy Roberts. She talks about how much vitamin C we need; it’s different for men and women.  She also explains that many foods are a good source of the vitamin.

 

 

Vitamin C Doesn’t Prevent Colds

Ascorbic acid trial

Vitamin C

Bates County Extension Center

One medium guava has 165 mg of vitamin C (Photo by USDA's Penny Greb)

One medium guava has 165 mg of vitamin C (Photo by USDA’s Penny Greb)

One kiwifruit has 64 mg of vitamin C (Photo by Keith S. Brown)

One kiwifruit has 64 mg of vitamin C

Two tomatoes have 46.4 mg of vitamin C (Photo by David Besa)

Two tomatoes have 46.4 mg of vitamin C (Photo by David Besa)

One cup of blackberries has 30.2 mg of vitamin C (Photo by USDA's Scott Bauer)

One cup of blackberries has 30.2 mg of vitamin C (Photo by USDA’s Scott Bauer)

Tip-toe through the history of mistletoe
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!" ~ Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Photo by David R. Tribble)

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” ~ Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Photo by David R. Tribble)

Whether you catch mommy kissing Santa Claus or a young man stealing his first kiss, kissing under the mistletoe is a worldwide tradition. But, why does a bit greenery give us permission to catch a kiss?

Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He has lots of trivia about this semi-parasitic plant and why it gives us permission to make off with a little romance.