Trump administration discontinues ACA’s CSR payments

October 16, 2017 0 COMMENTS

On October 12, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Secretary Eric Hargan and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma released a statement announcing that cost-sharing reductions (CSR) payments were to be immediately discontinued based on a legal opinion from the attorney general.

In part, the statement noted that “we believe that the last Administration overstepped the legal boundaries drawn by our Constitution. Congress has not appropriated money for CSRs, and we will discontinue these payments immediately.”

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Senate agrees to consider healthcare bill

July 26, 2017 0 COMMENTS

On July 25, after much back-and-forth in the Senate and the dramatic return of Senator John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, the Senate agreed to open debate on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski joining all Senate Democrats in voting against the debate, Vice President Mike Pence stepped in to break the tie and get the legislation on the table.

Soon after, however, a vote on a version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) failed by a count of 43-57.

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DOL’s health insurance marketplace form is now expired . . . but fear not

February 01, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Employers have a lot to worry about these days. Fortunately, the expiration of the marketplace notice form issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) isn’t something else to add to the list.

The form, New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage, comes in two versions: one for employers that offer some sort of health coverage and one for employers that don’t. Both versions of the form expired on Tuesday, January 31.

The DOL hasn’t issued new versions, and with the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in doubt, it’s unclear whether the agency will. Fortunately, employers may continue using the old versions of the forms for now without risk of penalty.

Employers get extension on some ACA reporting dates

January 06, 2016 0 COMMENTS

The IRS has announced that it has extended the deadline for employers subject to certain reporting requirements necessary under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

New deadlines have been set for employers subject to Sections 6055 and 6056 reporting requirements:End of the Month

  • The deadline for employers to furnish employees Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, has been extended to March 31. The previous deadline was February 1.
  • The deadline for filing Form 1094-B, Form 1095-B, Form 1094-C, and Form 1095-C with the IRS has been extended to May 31 for employers filing nonelectronically and to June 30 for employers filing electronically. (Employers filing 250 or more information returns are required to file electronically.)

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Federal appeals courts issue conflicting decisions on ACA subsidies

July 22, 2014 0 COMMENTS

A few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate, federal courts are looking at a different aspect of the law—exchange subsidies. On July 22, there was a flurry of activity on the issue, with two federal appeals courts issuing conflicting rulings.

States had the option to design and operate exchanges (also known as marketplaces) that best met their unique needs while complying with the ACA’s statutory and regulatory standards. All states had to make a choice regarding what kind of exchange they wanted. States could: read more…

High court lets Hobby Lobby, others opt out of contraception coverage under ACA

June 30, 2014 3 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) again this term, and today, it held in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that the ACA’s contraceptive mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) as it is applied to “closely held corporations.” According to the Court’s 5-4 opinion, the mandate “substantially burdens the exercise of religion.”

Under the ACA (and related Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations), many health insurance plans must cover certain preventive services for women without cost sharing (e.g., coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles). These preventive services include contraceptive methods and counseling—or more specifically, “all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.”

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Supreme Court agrees to hear ACA contraception coverage cases

November 26, 2013 0 COMMENTS

Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) overcame a large hurdle when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld its provisions (including the individual mandate) last year, the Court announced today that it would take another look at the law. This time, it will be reviewing another one of the law’s controversial mandates—the contraceptive mandate.

Under the ACA, many health insurance plans must cover certain preventive services for women without cost sharing (e.g., coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles). These preventive services include contraceptive methods and counseling—or more specifically, “all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.” However, there are exceptions to the mandate. For example, the requirement to cover such preventive services doesn’t apply to grandfathered health plans or to certain religious employers.

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Walgreens to provide employees with healthcare subsidy while ACA public exchange deadline looms

September 18, 2013 0 COMMENTS

Walgreens has announced it will provide eligible employees with employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in 2014 through its proprietary “Live Well Benefits Store,” a marketplace that is an outsourced solution through Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange.

The new program allows Walgreens to continue offering health insurance and wellness benefits to its employees as the plan administrator while providing tools and resources that help employees personalize coverage for themselves and their dependents.

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Obama administration delays another ACA provision

August 13, 2013 0 COMMENTS

The Obama administration has delayed another Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision. The administration has postponed a consumer protection provision that limits out-of-pocket costs until 2015. Under the provision, the limit on out-of-pocket costs was not to exceed $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family.

According to the New York Times, the one-year grace period was announced in February on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) website in guidance titled “FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation Part XII.” However, the language outlining the grace period largely flew under the radar until DOL officials recently confirmed what the language means.

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