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OIG Okays Medigap Insurer’s Arrangement for Discount on Inpatient Deductibles

Last Monday the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services posted an advisory opinion (No. 14-07) allowing a Medigap insurance company to strike a deal with hospitals for discounts—even waivers—of the...more

Two Important Deadlines Approaching for Self-Insured Group Health Plans

If you sponsor a self-insured group health plan, then November includes two important deadlines: (1) you must obtain a health plan identifier for your plan, and (2) you must report the number of participants for whom a...more

Failure to Cover Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism Spectrum Disorder Violates Federal Mental Health Parity Law

Parents have searched for effective therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder. One therapy that has shown promise, at least for some children, is applied behavior analysis (“ABA”), which is an intensive behavioral...more

Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act May Result in More Patients for Medicare Providers

The President signed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 [PDF] on August 7, 2014 (the “Act”). Ordinarily, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides medical care to veterans at Veterans Health...more

Splits Are Not the Best for Business: Uncertainty after Conflicting Decisions on the Scope of Obamacare Subsidies

The recent decisions by the Fourth Circuit and the D.C. Circuit address a controversy that could have far-reaching consequences for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). Under the ACA, states and the...more

One Step Closer to the Supreme Court: The Fate of Obamacare Premium Tax Credits in the Face of the Circuit Split

Last month, two federal courts of appeals issued opposing decisions on whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) permitted subsidies, in the form of premium tax credits, to health coverage bought...more

Federal Health Insurance Marketplace Sends Notices Regarding Citizenship and Immigration Data Inconsistencies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced that the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace (“Marketplace”) began sending follow-up notices to consumers with citizenship or immigration data inconsistencies...more

Indian Health Service Recovery Efforts Against Commercial Health Plans

Health plans across the country are increasingly receiving demands for payment from the Indian Health Service (“IHS”), tribal health programs (collectively “Indian Organizations”) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury for...more

Missouri Insurance Department Reaches $7.8 Million Settlement with Anthem

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) recently announced that it has entered into a $7.8 million regulatory settlement with Healthy Alliance Life Insurance Co. and...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

Health Care Update - August 2014

In This Issue: - Sovaldi Pricing Lower in Canada - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Other Congressional and State Initiatives - Other Health...more

Affordable Care Act Update: Courts Divided on who is Eligible for Subsidies on the Exchange

On July 22, 2014, within 2 hours of each other, two U.S. Courts of Appeal issued conflicting rulings on whether subsidies may be offered in states that use the federal insurance exchange. Background. The...more

Circuit Court Split on ACA Could Impact Employer Penalties

In conflicting opinions released on July 22nd, two federal circuits split on whether Affordable Care Act subsidies are available under a federally operated health insurance exchange. “Pay or play” penalties apply only if...more

Captive Insurance: Feds Promote Tax Benefits, but Pay Attention to the Details

Recent IRS rulings and a U.S. Tax Court decision continue to lay a solid foundation for captive insurance companies. However, the tax requirements must be strictly followed. Below we provide an update to assist captives in...more

No delay of game – Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance efforts should continue, despite court rulings

Perhaps you have put your compliance efforts on the back burner, hoping the ACA will just go away. We have heard many reasons for this procrastination, including the constitutional challenge to the individual mandate, the...more

CHI Takes the Plunge into the Insurance Business

For several years now hospital systems have been tip-toeing around the business of health insurance. They’ve been signing up for Medicare Advantage plans, taking on more and more risk, managing care and raiding health...more

Los Angeles County Sues Hospital Owner for False Surgical Implant Claims to County Workers’ Compensation Program

On July 18, 2014, the County of Los Angeles (“the County”) filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court again Michael D. Drobot, Sr., his son Michael R. Drobot, Jr. and their controlled entities, Pacific Hospital of Long...more

New ACA Rules Could Require Broader Provider Networks

"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." President Obama repeated this assurance to the American public numerous times, and the statement was prominently featured on the White House web site prior to and after...more

ERISA (8th Circuit): Over-The-Counter Vitamin Supplements Trigger Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion

What sort of “medical treatment” triggers the pre-existing condition exclusion in an ERISA-governed disability policy?...more

HEAL Advisory: How Big Is Halbig? The Potential Effects of This Major Ruling Are Numerous and Significant

On July 22, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued conflicting opinions on a key aspect of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). The cases are Halbig v....more

Highmark and UPMC Consent Decree

Highmark and UPMC took a major step toward resolving network participation issues June 27, 2014, by executing a Consent Decree with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Departments of Insurance and Health. The Consent...more

Draft Forms Released for the Affordable Care Act's Health Coverage Reporting Requirements

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes new reporting requirements on employers and insurance companies offering health coverage. Last week, the IRS released drafts of the four forms that will be used by employers and insurers...more

Circuit Courts Split on ACA Subsidies

On July 22, 2014, United States Circuit Courts of Appeals from two different circuits issued opposing rulings on the legality of the Federal government providing subsidies to eligible buyers of health insurance products from...more

Favorable Ruling: Taxability of HMOs Under New York City General Corporation Tax

A New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) recently ruled in favor of Aetna, Inc. (Aetna) on whether a health maintenance organization (HMO) was “doing an insurance business” in New York State,...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 22: Charting the Future of the Premium Subsidies (and Employer...

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

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