Departments Issue PPACA Regulations on Waivers for State Innovation

March 15, 2011 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury recently issued proposed new regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that outline the steps states must take to acquire Waivers for State Innovation. Under the PPACA, in 2017, states will be able to ask for such waivers to allow them to come up with their own ways to improve health care and offer comparable coverage.

While addressing the National Governors Association, President Barack Obama recently endorsed legislation that would allow states to begin asking for Waivers for State Innovation in 2014 when important parts of the PPACA go into effect. The bill would allow states to opt out of certain controversial provisions such as the individual mandate and the employer coverage requirement as long as they could prove that their alternative meets the PPACA’s objectives.

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Government Issues Health Care Reform Regulations on ‘Grandfathered’ Plans

June 16, 2010 0 COMMENTS

On June 14, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury issued new regulations addressing grandfathered plans under health care reform and how such plans can keep their grandfathered status. Although the new health care reform legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010) requires health plans to provide new benefits, the legislation “grandfathers” plans that existed on March 23, 2010, by exempting them from certain new requirements.

According to a fact sheet released by the departments, the regulations clarify that grandfathered plans will be able to make certain routine changes to their plans without losing their grandfathered status. Such changes include: read more…

Health Plan Developments: Mental Health Parity, GINA, and Health Risk Assessments

October 23, 2009 0 COMMENTS

By Michelle Sullivan, Holland & Hart LLP

Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, issued a statement on October 2 indicating that employers awaiting guidance before implementing changes to medical plans required by the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 should not expect regulations to be issued until January 2010 — after the law goes into effect for calendar-year plans. In the absence of regulations, plan sponsors should make a reasonable “good-faith” effort to adhere to the law’s intent.

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