Trump administration expands exemptions to ACA contraceptive mandate

October 09, 2017 0 COMMENTS

On October 6, the Trump administration released two interim final rules that will vastly expand the availability of exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) rules requiring employer coverage of contraceptives.

The ACA requires employers and insurers that offer group health plans to employees to cover certain approved contraceptive methods—at no additional cost to employees—or face stiff penalties. Previously, there were exemptions for grandfathered health plans (i.e., plans in existence at the time of the ACA’s adoption) as well as for group health plans sponsored by religious employers. “Religious employers” were narrowly defined to include churches and related entities as well as religious orders.

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CBO says revised AHCA not much of an improvement over prior version

May 25, 2017 0 COMMENTS

The saga of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican plan to repeal and replace key portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has been a long and winding one so far.

To recap: The original version of the AHCA was introduced in early March. After receiving lukewarm support and a discouraging report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which concluded that it would leave an additional 24 million Americans uninsured by 2026 as compared with the current ACA, it was pulled from the House floor shortly before a scheduled vote on March 24.

Republican lawmakers regrouped, and on May 4, a modified version of the AHCA squeaked through the House by the slimmest of margins. The vote took place before the CBO had a chance to review the new version of the bill.

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CBO: Fewer employers would offer insurance under Obamacare replacement

March 14, 2017 0 COMMENTS

On March 13, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its cost estimate of the effects of the proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal and replace legislation.

Deficits down, but number of uninsured up

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ACA repeal proposal: Employer mandate gone, Cadillac tax remains

March 07, 2017 0 COMMENTS

On March 6, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) released long-awaited proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through a budget process known as reconciliation—a process that allows legislation to be passed with a simple majority in the Senate. The legislation is part of House Republicans’ American Health Care Act.

Employer and individual mandates gone . . . retroactively

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Republican ACA proposal poses challenges for multistate employers

January 25, 2017 0 COMMENTS

A group of Republican senators has proposed a replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would allow states to choose whether to keep Obamacare’s provisions in place. Because employers’ requirements would depend on where employees work, compliance could be a real challenge for companies with operations in multiple states, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The bill is seemingly an attempt to gain bipartisan support, but lawmakers on both sides have expressed dissatisfaction with its provisions, said Chatrane Birbal, SHRM’s senior adviser for government relations.

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Trump takes aim at ACA on first day in office

January 23, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Following his inauguration on January 20, President Donald Trump signed his first round of Executive Orders, including one directing federal agencies to ease enforcement of some Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements.

Trump told agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of”ACA provisions that impose fees or other burdens on a range of stakeholders, including individuals and health insurers.

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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…

New California law grants domestic workers overtime pay

December 19, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Cathleen S. Yonahara

A new California law taking effect January 1, 2014, grants overtime pay for at least the next three years to domestic workers who are personal attendants.

Under old state law, “personal attendants” are exempt from statutory overtime and meal and rest break provisions, but they are not exempt from minimum wage requirements.

A personal attendant is defined as any person employed by a private householder or any third-party employer recognized in the healthcare industry to work in a private household to supervise, feed, or dress a child or a person who by reason of advanced age, physical disability, or mental deficiency needs supervision. To have personal attendant status, the employee may not spend more than 20 percent of his or her weekly work time engaged in other duties.

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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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Four Arizona Ballot Measures of Interest to Employers

November 01, 2010 0 COMMENTS

By Chris McFadden

As a reminder, tomorrow will be your opportunity to make a difference in Arizona by heading to the polls! Four measures on the ballot may be of particular interest to employers.

  • Proposition 113 (secret ballot): If passed, this measure would guarantee the right to vote by secret ballot in union representation elections.
  • Proposition 203 (medical marijuana): This measure aims to allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana. If passed, employers will need to review their drug-testing policies, consider Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation concerns, and analyze workplace safety implications.
  • Proposition 106 (health care): A yes vote would prohibit any rules that force state residents to participate in a health care program.
  • Proposition 107 (affirmative action): If passed, this measure would ban affirmative action programs in public employment and education.

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