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The Future of the ACA Week 4: The Ryan Plan, “A Better Way”

The recent Republican election victories appear to ensure that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) days are numbered. But with nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy, and the health care coverage for some tens of millions of U.S....more

The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 2 of 24): Yikes! The Costs of Failing to Comply...

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes information reporting rules on providers of minimum essential coverage, e.g., insurance carriers and self-funded plans, and on applicable large employers, i.e., those employers that are...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 10: What’s an Employer to Do (with Marketplace Notices)?

Under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules, applicable large employers (those with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees on business days during the preceding calendar year) incur...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 16: So What, Exactly, is an “Offer of Coverage”?

Whether an employer makes the requisite offer of group health plan coverage is critical to the application of the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules as reflected in final implementing regulations...more

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Halbig ACA Case Before Full Court

Following up on our Week 22 ACA Countdown to Compliance post, the D.C. Court of Appeals granted the government’s petition for en banc review in Halbig v. Burwell, which held low income subsidies to purchase coverage through...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 17: Cherry Bomb in the Gold Fish Pond, or Third-Party Staffing...

With two seemingly simple and straightforward definitions in the final regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act’s pay-or-play rules—i.e., definitions of “employer” and “employee”— the Treasury Department and IRS have...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 19: Changes in Employment Status under the Look-Back...

An earlier post explained the two principle methods—the “monthly measurement method” and the “look-back measurement method”—available to applicable large employers to identify full-time employees for purposes of determining...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 20: 9.5% ? 9.56% (And Why It Matters to Applicable Large...

While employers sometimes view the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility (or “pay-or-play”) rules in isolation, they don’t operate that way. Instead, they exist side-by-side with other provisions of the Act. In...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 21: Self-Funded Group Health Plans, the Affordable Care Act...

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) ushered in broad national standards aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. health care system. Referred to generically as...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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