Alden J. Bianchi

Alden J. Bianchi

Mintz Levin

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Charting the Future of Premium Subsidies under the Affordable Care Act: Halbig v. Burwell and King v. Burwell

On July 22, 2014, two federal appellate courts issued conflicting decisions, within hours of each other, regarding the IRS final rule published on May 23, 2012 (the “IRS Rule”), intended to implement the exchange-related tax...more

7/25/2014 - Affordable Care Act Halbig v Burwell Healthcare IRS King v Burwell Subsidies Tax Credits

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 26: Fitting a Round Peg (the Public Health Service Act 90-day...

The Departments of the Treasury/IRS, Labor and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) recently issued a final regulation under the 90-day waiting period limitation, which is included among the Affordable Care Act’s...more

6/30/2014 - Affordable Care Act DOL Employer Mandates ERISA Healthcare Healthcare Reform HHS IRC IRS PHSA U.S. Treasury

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 27: COBRA, Marketplace Coverage, Stability Periods, and...

Recent developments under the Affordable Care Act and COBRA, and existing rules governing mid-year election changes under cafeteria plans, have combined to make it challenging for certain terminating employees and those...more

6/23/2014 - Affordable Care Act Cafeteria Plans COBRA Employee Benefits Healthcare Stability Period

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 28: The Logic, Calculus, and Limits of “Skinny” Plans

It was just over a year ago that the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “Employers Eye Bare-Bones Health Plans Under New Law,” which highlighted a compliance strategy to minimize employer exposure for...more

6/17/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits Employer Group Health Plans Employer Mandates Healthcare HIPAA IRS Skinny Plan

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 30: The IRS Tells Us that Employer Payment Plans (Really,...

The IRS recently issued two Q&As on the subject of employer payment plans, the purpose of which was to again underscore that arrangements purporting to allow an employer to reimburse employees on a pre-tax basis for premiums...more

6/3/2014 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Employee Benefits Healthcare Healthcare Reform Pay or Play Payment Plans Popular

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 31: ERISA Section 510 and Limiting Employee Hours

In last week’s post, we examined the appropriateness of capping the annual hours of new “variable hour employees” as a way to limit exposure under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules. (These rules...more

5/27/2014 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Employee Benefits Employer Mandates ERISA Healthcare Healthcare Reform IRS Shared Responsibility Rule

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 32: Why Capping Annual Hours at 1560 Does Not Work

Whenever Congress draws a line in the sand—such as with exposure for assessable payments under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibly rules—entities subject to regulation (here, applicable large employers) will...more

5/20/2014 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare Healthcare Reform

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 33: The Impact of Value-Based–Plan Designs and Reference...

Whether a group health plan provides minimum value is central to the application of the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules. The particulars of the role of minimum value in determining assessable...more

5/13/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits Employer Group Health Plans Final Rules Health Insurance Exchanges Health Plan Sponsors Healthcare Minimum Value Plans

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 34: When Can Carriers Impose Minimum Participation and Minimum...

Commencing with plan and policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act amends the Public Health Service Act (“PHS Act”) to make three important changes to the rules governing health insurance...more

5/5/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Employer Mandates Healthcare Insurance Rates Public Health Service Act

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 35: ACA, Mental Health Parity, and (the Hazards of the) Final...

With so much attention focused on the particulars of the employer shared responsibility and, to a slightly lesser extent, reporting rules, it’s easy to lose sight of other important changes—including final regulations issued...more

4/29/2014 - Affordable Care Act Healthcare Healthcare Reform Mental Health Parity Rule MHPAEA

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 36: Hacking the Affordable Care Act’s $100/Day Penalties for...

Particularly with the issuance of final regulations under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules, employers have been concerned—justifiably—with the pay-or-play penalties. ...more

4/22/2014 - Affordable Care Act COBRA Compliance Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare HIPAA Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 38: Congress Eliminates Separate Cap on Deductibles

In a rare display of bipartisanship, Congress voted to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s separate cap on deductibles that applies to individual and small group insurance products. (These limits never applied to large...more

4/8/2014 - Affordable Care Act Deductibles Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare Self-Funded Health Plans

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 39: Common Law Employees and Offers of Coverage on Behalf of...

Distinguishing employees who are full-time from those who are not takes up a good deal of real estate in final regulations published in the Federal Register on February 12 implementing the Act’s employer shared responsibility...more

4/1/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Full-Time Employees Healthcare Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 40: Limited Non-assessment Periods under the Final Code §...

Final regulations under Code § 4980H published in the Federal Register on February 12 include a new term—“limited non-assessment period”—which describes periods for which an applicable large employer (i.e., an employer with...more

3/25/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits Healthcare Healthcare Reform

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 41: What Employers Need to Know About the Final Rules Issued...

The last few weeks have produced a regulatory frenzy under various provisions of the Affordable Care Act affecting employers...more

3/18/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Mandates Healthcare Healthcare Reform HHS

Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services Issue Final and Proposed Regulations Implementing the 90-day Limit...

The Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) generally prevents an otherwise eligible employee (or dependent) from having to wait more than 90 days before coverage becomes effective under a group health plan. The regulation of waiting...more

3/5/2014 - Affordable Care Act DOL Employee Benefits ERISA Healthcare HHS U.S. Treasury Waiting Periods

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 43: Coordinating the 3-Month Delay under Employer Shared...

So much attention has been paid to the issuance of the final employer shared responsibility regulations that some might have missed the news that final regulations were recently issued under another of the Affordable Care...more

3/4/2014 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Employee Benefits Employer Group Health Plans Employer Mandates Healthcare Healthcare Reform Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule

The Top 10 Changes Made to the 2012 Proposed Rule Under the Affordable Care Act’s Employer Shared Responsibility Rules by Recently...

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service recently issued final regulations implementing the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act. For “applicable large employers” — i.e., those with...more

2/25/2014 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare Healthcare Reform IRS Shared Responsibility Rule U.S. Treasury

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 44: The Top 10 Changes Made by the Final Treasury Regulations...

In last week’s post on the topic of the recently issued final regulations under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility (a/k/a “pay-or-play”) rules, we suggested that the final regulations broke little new...more

2/25/2014 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare Healthcare Reform Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 45: Focus on the Transition Rules under Final Treasury/IRS...

The Treasury Department and the IRS last week issued long-awaited final rules implementing the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility (a/k/a “pay-or-play”) rules. Originally slated to take effect beginning...more

2/19/2014 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 46: Looking Ahead to the Group Health Plan Non-Discrimination...

A January 18th New York Times article (Rules for Equal Coverage by Employers Remain Elusive Under Health Law) reported on the progress, or lack thereof, of the adoption of group health plan non-discrimination regulations...more

2/11/2014 - Affordable Care Act Discrimination Healthcare Healthcare Reform IRS

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 45½: Treasury/IRS Issue Long-Awaited Final Regulations under...

Breaking with long standing tradition—i.e., issuing important rules on a Friday before a holiday weekend, or (failing that) any Friday (hence the reference to Week 45½ in this post)—the Treasury Department and the IRS today...more

2/11/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Mandates Healthcare Healthcare Reform IRS Pay or Play U.S. Treasury

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 47: The Reporting Conundrum

The Affordable Care Act establishes three new, high-level, reporting requirements: Code § 6051(a)(14) - Employers must report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan on an employee’s...more

2/4/2014 - Affordable Care Act Filing Deadlines Healthcare Healthcare Reform Reporting Requirements

Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury Issue Proposed Regulations Governing “Excepted Benefits”

A handful of recent guidance items that the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury have issued make some important changes related to the regulation of “excepted benefits.” These changes are driven in...more

2/4/2014 - Affordable Care Act DOL Employee Assistance Programs Employee Benefits Healthcare HHS U.S. Treasury Wraparound Coverage

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