Elections & Politics Insurance

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CMS Takes Action Against Network Transparency While New Jersey Legislation Hits a Snag

Just as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began holding federal health care plans accountable for their provider network transparency obligations, the New Jersey legislature stalled in its bid to pass a law...more

Health Care Outlook for 2016

In 2016, the Affordable Care Act will continue to be a contentious issue involving opposing legislative efforts and presidential debates. It has already been a major talking point in the campaigns of multiple 2016...more

Senate Bill Would Strengthen Mandate That People With Disabilities Be Integrated in the Community

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) recently introduced the Disability Integration Act of 2015 (DIA) in the U.S. Senate. If passed, the bill would require states and health insurers to provide services to people with disabilities...more

“Implementation Day” Marks Lifting of Certain Nuclear-Related “Secondary” Sanctions on Iran by the United States in Accordance...

On January 16, 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency (“IAEA”) verified that the Islamic Republic of Iran (“Iran”) had satisfied its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”), which was entered...more

Bill to Amend Florida’s Unclaimed Property Act Regarding Unclaimed Insurance Benefits Moves to Senate Floor

On January 19, the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved a Senate bill (“SB 966”) that would modify Florida’s existing Unclaimed Property Act (the “Act”) requirements regarding unclaimed insurance benefits....more

Six Crucial Points About Iran Sanctions Liberalization

Crucial Points - - The U.S. government has, by and large, left in place its embargo generally forbidding U.S. companies, citizens and residents, and others in the United States to engage in Iran-related...more

Proposed Legislation on Captive Insurance Companies Could Change the Game

Captive insurance companies (that is, insurance companies owned and controlled by its insureds to underwrite the risks of the parent and/or the parent’s affiliated companies) are an increasingly popular tool for small...more

SURPRISE!!! The NJ Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment, and Accountability Act Goes Forward and...

On November 17, 2015, New Jersey lawmakers forged ahead with the controversial legislation that addresses, among other things, “surprise” medical bills from out of network providers. According to its sponsors, the purpose of...more

President Obama Vetoes Bill to Repeal Major ACA Provisions

As expected, on January 8, 2016, President Obama vetoed legislation that would have repealed key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including insurance subsidy and mandate provisions, Medicaid expansion, tax...more

Congress Engages in Some Holiday Spending on Benefits

Congress’s recent $1.8 trillion holiday shopping spree (aka The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, which became law on December 18, 2015) included a few employee benefit packages. We recently unwrapped the packages....more

Appropriations Bill Has a Few Surprises

On December 18, the President signed into law H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act Of 2016, (the “Act”), the 887 page bill which avoided a closure of federal government functions. Beyond the massive funding of the...more

President Obama Approves the Consolidated Appropriations Act with Key Employee Benefits Provisions

The Consolidated Appropriations Act to fund the government through 2016 was passed and enacted on December 18. The law contains a number of benefits-related provisions, including a two-year delay of the 40-percent excise tax...more

California Passes Life and Annuity Electronic Transactions Law

On January 1, 2016, Section 38.6 of the California Insurance Code will take effect permitting consumers to conduct certain life, disability, and annuity transactions electronically. The new law attempts to meet California...more

Provisions in Appropriations Act Affecting Employee Benefit Plans

The $1.8 trillion, 887-page spending bill enacted by Congress this month, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (the Appropriations Act), became law on Dec. 18, 2015. Below is a summary of the principal provisions of the...more

ACA Update: Cadillac Tax Postponed!

The budget and tax package passed by Congress on December 18, 2015, and signed by the President, includes a two-year delay of the controversial excise tax on high-value health plans (a.k.a., the Cadillac Tax), part of the...more

Congress Amends Section 831(b): Is This the Beginning of the End of Section 831(b) Abuses?

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (Act), which made several significant amendments to section 831(b) of the Internal Revenue Code....more

DOL's Fiduciary Duty Rule Survives Year-End Appropriations Process

The insurance industry’s short-term strategy to oppose the Department of Labor’s proposed investment advisor fiduciary duty rule centered on a defunding initiative as part of the year-end appropriations process. That...more

Ag Committee Leaders Oppose Crop Insurance Cuts

Recently the House Agriculture Committee stood firm on the promise against reopening the Farm Bill to new crop insurance cuts. The High Plains Journal reports that leaders feel that the proposed cuts to crop insurance in the...more

Senate Votes for Budget Reconciliation Bill Repealing Key ACA Provisions

The Senate has approved an amended version of a budget reconciliation bill (H.R. 3762) that would repeal key provisions of the ACA. As approved by the Senate on December 3, 2015, the legislation would repeal ACA insurance...more

So-Called Cadillac Tax Delayed until 2020

On December 16, 2015, the House of Representatives struck a tentative deal on an appropriations bill that would fund the federal government through the 2016 fiscal year. Among other things, the 2016 Consolidated...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Obamacare repeal passes Senate and goes to the House... Tax extenders still under development... Focus on drug pricing continues... Congress looks to create an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government by...more

2015 Wisconsin Act 90 Changes Numerous Insurance Provisions

On November 11, 2015, Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 287 into law as 2015 Wisconsin Act 90. The law is a collection of miscellaneous changes and updates to Wisconsin’s Insurance Code, including technical corrections...more

A&B Healthcare Week in Review, November 2015

I. REGULATIONS, NOTICES, & GUIDANCE - On November 21, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule entitled “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Congress tries to put together a tax extender package, which may provide an opportunity for some Affordable Care Act changes... HHS releases final rule on bundled payment for Joint Replacement Comprehensive Care...more

Treasury and U.S. Trade Representative Notify Congress of Intent to Initiate Negotiations on Covered Agreement With EU Regarding...

On Friday, November 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) notified the chairs of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Banking...more

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