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California Legislative Update: July 2014

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. A brief summary of these new laws, along with links to the bills, can be found below....more

IRS Issues Draft ACA Reporting Forms

The Internal Revenue Service recently released draft versions of the forms that will be used to meet the shared responsibility reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These draft forms have been released...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

For-Profit Companies Find Religion – What’s a Transactional Lawyer to Do?

Last month, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby case that closely held for-profit corporations can have “free exercise rights” as “persons” under The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (“RFRA”),...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

Hell Hath No Fury Like a CFO Scorned (But His Whistleblower Suit Fails Anyway)

Medicare and Medicaid providers lie awake at night worrying about disgruntled—or worse yet, fired—finance officers filing whistleblower suits. After all, Medicare and Medicaid regulations are notoriously complicated, and...more

Capital Thinking: Health Care

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY - On Monday, July 28, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health will hold a markup to consider two bills: H.R. ____, a bill to require the Secretary of Health and Human...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

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum Regarding H-1B Petitions for Nursing Occupations

As a general matter, most registered nurse (RN) positions do not qualify as H-1B specialty occupation positions because they do not normally require a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in nursing or its equivalent as the...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

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Regulations and New Model COBRA Notices

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued new proposed COBRA regulations. The regulations include an updated model general notice and model election notice under the federal COBRA law. Use of the model notices is not...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

Conflicting Rulings on Health Insurance Subsidies Raise Concerns Among Insurers and Providers

On Tuesday, July 23rd 2014, separate federal circuit court panels issued conflicting rulings regarding whether the government could subsidize health insurance premiums for Americans enrolled in federally-run health exchanges....more

News from the Health Law Gurus™

Former Walmart Exec to Help Manage HHS — Leslie Dach, former Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Walmart, will assume the role of Senior Counsel of the HHS, according to a press release on Wednesday. ...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

In recent months, a federal political issue has developed regarding undocumented immigrants crossing into the United States. This week, it was revealed that this issue touches on Maine, when Governor LePage was notified by...more

Stay Tuned: Impact of Supreme Court Decision on ACA's Contraceptive Mandate Uncertain

It’s too soon to know the impact on the workplace of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that certain businesses may opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement to pay for birth control in their healthcare...more

Shorts on Long Term Care - Summer 2014

In this issue: - Nursing Facility Survey Trends: Directed Plans of Correction, Privacy Violations and FTag 520 Quality Assurance Committee Citations - COBRA Meets ACA – Time to Update COBRA Notices -...more

Joint Employment Finding Leads to Unexpected $3 Million Liability in Hospital Malpractice Case

When Washington Hospital obtained an insurance policy in 2003 to cover medical claims arising from acts by its employees, its insurer probably did not consider whether hospital employees included workers supplied by a...more

Of Mice and Elephants: Halbig and King and The Struggle of Two Federal Appeals Courts to Find Meaning in Words That May or May Not...

At issue in Halbig v. Burwell and King v. Burwell is whether or not subsidies to buy insurance on an exchange are available in both state and federal exchanges. On its face the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) provides for...more

Circuit Court Split Casts Doubt on PPACA Subsidies for Individuals and Employer Penalties in 36 States

Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on July 22 on whether individual premium subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are available in 36 states that have federally run...more

Federal Courts Make Conflicting Rulings on Premium Assistance for Federal Exchange Plan Participants

Does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorize the payment of premium and copayment subsidies, or “premium assistance subsidies,” to individuals enrolled in a federally established Exchange? On July 22, 2014, two federal courts...more

Clash of the Circuits: Federal Exchange Subsidies at Risk?

These four words “established by the state,” at first blush do not appear obtuse or particularly vague. But these four words form the basis for the latest challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and have resulted in two...more

U.S. Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Decisions on Whether ACA Permits Tax Subsidies of Health Care Coverage Purchased Through...

On July 22, 2014, three-judge panels of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Fourth Circuits issued conflicting decisions regarding whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) permits federal tax credits for...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

Womble Legislative Update

Three and a half weeks into the new state fiscal year we have no newly adjusted budget, and the passage of important bills has slowed to a trickle, but there's a distinct uptick in hostage-taking of bills....more

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