Health Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Health Plan Identifiers – November 5, 2014 Deadline

What Is a Health Plan Identifier (HPID)? A health plan identifier is a standardized 10-digit number that is unique to a plan. Who Must Obtain an HPID in the Coming Weeks? Large “controlling health plans”...more

Updated Timeline of Highlights for Employer Group Health Plan Compliance with the Affordable Care Act

Since enactment of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), the regulators have promulgated a myriad of regulations implementing the ACA’s requirements for group health plans. Over the past several years, the Obama administration has...more

From Competitors to Co-Adventurers, Seven Hospital Systems Join with Anthem Blue Cross to Shake Things Up in Southern California

Anthem Blue Cross and seven competing hospital systems in Southern California are joining forces to establish a new health plan offering, Vivity.[1] Operating with a combined 14 hospitals and approximately 6,000 physicians,...more

OIG Approves Yet Another Medigap Policy Contract with Preferred Hospital Network

On September 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 14-08 [PDF]. This opinion is yet another favorable advisory opinion approving a Medicare...more

Provider Competition Matters—Even for “Reference Pricing”

In a recent blog post, three Federal Trade Commission (FTC) economists splashed some cold water on advocates of “reference pricing” that seem to imply that such pricing “will increase competition between providers.” In the...more

Illinois Blues Won’t Let Hospitals Jointly Negotiate Unless They’re Married

Remember when Hollywood wouldn’t show an unmarried couple in bed together? Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Illinois is taking that approach to contract negotiations. If hospitals want to negotiate jointly with the insurer, they...more

Health Care Update - October 2014

In This Issue: - CMS Publishes Long-Awaited “Health Plan Innovation Initiative” RFI - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Other Congressional...more

IRS Issues New Forms And Instructions Regarding The Employer Mandate Information Reporting Requirements Under The ACA

In order to administer and enforce the rules of the Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) added Sections 6055 and 6056 to the Internal Revenue Code, which require insurance providers and...more

New Cafeteria Plan Change in Status Options

In Notice 2014-55, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced two new situations in which employees may change their health plan elections midyear under their employer’s cafeteria plan. In the first, an employee’s hours...more

OIG Proposes Rules on Free Transportation, Hospital Gainsharing, and Other Access to Care Arrangements

The proposed rule to give providers more protections to promote beneficiary access to care solicits significant industry input. On October 2, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector...more

Coverage and Delivery of Adult Substance Abuse Services in Medicaid Managed Care

Medicaid’s role in purchasing and delivering substance abuse services is changing dramatically. Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most state Medicaid programs did not cover childless adults and...more

Health Law Alert: American Telemedicine Association Releases Report Showing Minnesota, Upper Midwest Fare Well Among State...

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) recently released two reports that compare and contrast telemedicine polices of every state in the U.S. The reports offer a state-by-state comparison, allowing providers to easily...more

Health Alert (Australia) - September 29, 2014

In This Alert: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. Excerpt from Judgments: Western Australia - 25 September 2014 - Goh v Murdoch Eye Pty Ltd [2014] WASC 344: The plaintiff, Dr Goh, carried...more

Health Plans Petition the Supreme Court to Determine Whether FEHBA Preempts State Anti-Subrogation Statutes

The Federal Employees Health Benefit Act (FEHBA) governs federal employee health plans and contains a broad preemption clause comparable to the one found in ERISA.1 Despite the similarity, state and federal courts are split...more

Insurer Sues Department of Insurance Over Multi-Million Dollar Penalty

In suing the California Insurance Commissioner on July 10, 2014, PacifiCare Life Insurance Company sought a writ of mandamus ordering the Commissioner to set aside his Decision and Order imposing a record $173 million penalty...more

When Did You Last Amend Your Section 125 Cafeteria or Flexible Benefit Plan? Now May Be A Good Time to Dust It Off and Update It

Section 125 Plans, which are commonly referred to as either cafeteria plans or flexible benefit plans, are much loved, and needed, if you want to allow employees to pay health insurance and other premiums on a pre-tax basis....more

Health Care Update - September 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Post-Acute Care Bill Passes, Sets Up Policymakers for Comprehensive Reform Effort - Lawmakers still Focusing on SGR During “Lame Duck:” - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other...more

IRS to Amend Cafeteria Plan Regulations to Facilitate Enrollment in Marketplace Coverage

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Notice 2014-55, which expands the cafeteria plan “change in status” rules to allow plans to offer employees an option to revoke their elections...more

Torts – Effect of The Howell Decision on Liens Brought Under The Hospital Lien Act

Dameron Hospital Association v. AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah Insurance Exchange et al. - California Court Of Appeal, Third Appellate District (September 4, 2014) - In Howell v. Hamilton Meats (...more

What Employer Shared Responsibility Does Not Say

So much energy has been spent on what the final regulations on the employer shared responsibility tax and the related final reporting regulations (the “ESRR”), that some of the most significant considerations have been missed...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update September 2014

Congress is back in session, and work on a Continuing Resolution is underway. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is back center stage with House Republicans attaching a medical device tax repeal provision to a jobs package set for...more

Want To Complain About The 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule? Take A Number.

Apparently Americans feel that way about Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service physician compensation schedule. Everybody complains about it, but nobody likes any proposed changes. That’s clear from the reaction to the...more

FTC Rejects Proposed Settlement Agreement with Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc.

On September 5, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rejected a proposed settlement agreement with Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc., and returned the matter to administrative court to assess whether Phoebe Putney’s 2011...more

Corridors Fall 2014 - Medicaid Reform – House Bill 1181, the Medicaid Modernization Act

With about 2.3 million North Carolina residents receiving Medicaid services for at least part of 2013, Medicaid reform is a top priority for the General Assembly. The significant funding allocations required to supplement the...more

California Repeals 60-Day Limit on Waiting Periods

On August 15, 2014, California passed Senate Bill 1034, which repealed an insurance law (Assembly Bill 1083) that prohibited insurance companies from including waiting periods in excess of 60 days in their group health...more

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