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Senate Republicans Unveil ACA Repeal Bill

On June 22, 2017, Senate Republicans unveiled draft legislation to move toward repealing portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The draft health care bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, was hatched behind...more

PCORI Fee Due by July 31, 2017

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee was established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to advance comparative clinical effectiveness research. The PCORI fee is assessed on issuers of health insurance...more

The Future of Discretionary Clauses in California Life and Disability Insurance Agreements

On May 11, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court ruling, and upheld a California law that invalidates a plan provision that assigns the final determination on benefit payout...more

What Are the New 2018 Health Savings Account Limits?

In Revenue Procedure 2017-37, 2017-21 IRB, the IRS issued the annual inflation-adjusted contribution, deductible and out-of-pocket expense limits for 2018 for HSAs. For clear comparison, we have outlined the changes from 2017...more

House Narrowly Passes American Health Care Act

On Thursday, May 4, 2017, the US House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act by the slimmest of margins with no Democrats voting in favor of the bill. Amendments to the original bill attracted more support...more

Manager Amendments to the American Health Care Act

On Monday March 20, 2017, technical and policy amendments to the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) were introduced to address concerns by more conservative Republicans. The House is expected to vote on the AHCA as early...more

American Health Care Act: Considerations for Employers

On Monday March 6, 2017, the House Republican leadership in the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees unveiled their signature bill to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The “American Health Care...more

The Challenges of the Trump Administration’s Vow to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act

In the presentation “ACA Repeal/Replace Under the Trump Administration,” Susan Nash discusses the implications of President Trump and the GOP’s immediate vow to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was...more

DOL Finalizes New Disability Claim Rules for Welfare and Retirement Benefit Plans

The US Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration recently released final rules on claims adjudication of disability claims under welfare and retirement plans (the Final Rule). The purpose of the Final...more

Northern District of Texas Blocks Enforcement of the Non-Discrimination Regulations of the ACA

On December 31, 2016, the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an opinion and order in Franciscan Alliance, Inc. et al v. Burwell, which preliminarily enjoins the US Department of Health and Human...more

Legal Update on Select Health and Welfare Plan Issues

In a presentation to the Silicon Valley Employers Forum, Susan M. Nash discussed recent updates to select health and welfare plans while outlining some potential issues. The agenda included changes to exchange notices,...more

Extension for Good-Faith Reporting and 2016 Forms 1095-C and 1094-C

On November 18, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2016-70, extending both the due date for furnishing individuals with Forms 1095-C and 1095-B, in addition to certain good-faith transition relief to the 2016...more

IRS Adjusted ACA Fee Amounts for the 2017 Policy or Plan Years

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee was established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to advance comparative clinical effectiveness research. The PCORI fee is assessed on issuers of health insurance...more

Wellness Incentive Programs: Navigating Legal Landmines and Designing Effective Employee Communication Strategies

This year’s Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress featured a presentation by Susan Nash that addressed the many shapes and sizes of wellness programs today. Programs are typically designed to promote health and to educate...more

Affordable Care Act Compliance: IRS Releases Draft 2016 Employer Reporting Forms and Instructions

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued revised draft Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and related instructions for use for the 2016 reporting year. ...more

Guidance on Ransomware Attacks under HIPAA and State Data Breach Notification Laws

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently issued guidance under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on what covered entities and business associates can do to prevent and...more

Responding to Marketplace Notices

Employers have begun to receive notices from the Health Insurance Marketplace Exchanges (Marketplace) notifying them that one or more of their employees is eligible for governmental subsidies under the Marketplace. Employers...more

EEOC Model Wellness Program Notice

On June 16, 2016, the EEOC issued its model notice to be used in conjunction with wellness programs that ask disability related inquiries or require medical examinations. The notice requirement applies prospectively to...more

New Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Guidance from the DOL

In Depth - The US Department of Labor (DOL) has provided guidance on health plan provisions that could trigger a violation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008...more

EEOC Releases Final Wellness Program Regulations Related to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans with...

In Depth - The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released final wellness plan regulations providing guidance on how employer wellness programs may comply with Title I of the Americans with...more

HHS Issues Final ACA Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities Regulation

In Depth - On Friday, May 13, 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) finalized regulations that provide explicit protections from discrimination on the basis of gender...more

New FAQs Address Implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and the Women’s Health...

In Depth - The US Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (collectively, the Departments) published frequently asked questions (FAQs) on April 20, 2016, clarifying the implementation of...more

IRS Announces Limits for Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans for 2017

In Depth - Recently the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced (see Revenue Procedure 2016-28) cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health...more

Phase 2 HIPAA Audits Are Underway

In Depth - The US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on March 21, 2016, that it would soon begin a second phase of audits (Phase 2 Audits) of compliance with Health Insurance...more

4/26/2016  /  Covered Entities , ERISA , HIPAA Audits , HITECH , OCR

'Right-Sizing' Full-Time Employees to Reduce ACA Obligations May Lead to ERISA Class Action Exposure

Compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has resulted in increased health benefit costs for many employers. A recent court decision demonstrates that while programs to reduce the number of full-time employees may lower...more

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