News & Analysis as of

CMS Reports Marketplace Successes and Considers Improvements

On August 12, 2016, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued both a report delivering a message of optimism regarding the healthcare Marketplaces (or exchanges) and posted a blog written by the...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Maine’s Health Exchange Co-op Sues Federal Government & Files for Rate Increase - Community...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - August 2016 #2

CMS targets Medicaid managed care pass-through payments; California proposes “California Qualified Health Plans” for the undocumented; and a new study finds out-of-pocket costs were reduced by nearly a third for Medicaid...more

Seattle Ballot Initiative Targets Hotel Industry

According to Ballotpedia, 140 state ballot initiatives in 35 states have already been certified for the November 8, 2016 election. This number does not include the many city-wide measures that will be before voters on...more

Traps for the Unwary: Does Your Employee Handbook Comply with the Affordable Care Act?

Do you think you’ve complied with the Affordable Care Act mandates? Before you answer yes, you’d best take a close look at your Employee Handbook – a minefield for mistakes....more

We Received an Exchange Subsidy Notice…Now What?

The Affordable Care Act exchanges/marketplaces are required to notify employers of any employees who have been determined eligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit or cost-sharing reductions (i.e., subsidy) and...more

HHS Final Rule Extends Anti-Discrimination Protection to Transgender Patients

This past May, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin,...more

Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report — August 2016

Littler's Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report details key labor, employment, and benefits news and events at the federal, state, local, and global levels. The August edition of the Insider Report compares the Democratic...more

IRS Proposes Adjustments in Individual Mandate Reporting

The IRS has issued proposed regulations on the individual mandate reporting requirements under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code. To a significant degree, the new regulations reflect guidance previously published by...more

Employers Beware – Marketplace Notices Under the Affordable Care Act May be Coming to You

As we have previously explained, certain employers with 50 or more full-time employees (or equivalents) will incur a penalty from the IRS if they fail to offer health insurance coverage to their full-time employees and their...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - August 2016

Oregon’s hospitals see improved financial performance following the ACA; CMS denies Indiana’s request for an additional lockout period in the Medicaid expansion program; and a new Manatt Health report details Medicaid funding...more

Anti-Discrimination, Language Access Rules Compliance Deadline Fast Approaching for Health Insurers

Health insurers and HMOs have a limited time to review the new federal meaningful access rules and amend plan documents accordingly. However, many payors still have not revised their plans to include the required language,...more

The EEOC's View of Wellness Programs

The EEOC’s regulations allayed many concerns over the permissible level of incentives/penalties, as well as the challenge of dealing with inconsistent requirements under the various laws. Originally published in The HR...more

Health Update - July 2016

The Vulnerability of Healthcare Information - According to a report the Brookings Institute issued in May 2016, 23% of all data breaches occur in the healthcare industry. Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations had some...more

Transparency's Opaque Beginning: CMS Starts Implementing ACA Transparency Requirements

Based on QHP Certification instructions issued on July 22, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will collect administrative and performance data from health insurers that participate in the federally-run...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - July 2016 #4

CMS’ increase of the “income verification threshold” makes eligibility determinations easier for consumers; Oregon CO-OP policyholders can credit out-of-pocket spending towards new plans; and report finds that 13 million...more

Health Insurance Merger Challenges: Of Antitrust and the Affordable Care Act

The Department of Justice and attorneys general from multiple states last week sued to halt two health insurance mergers, each worth billions of dollars. The challenged deals are Anthem’s planned merger with Cigna and...more

Form 1095-C and I-9 Compliance: How to handle "mismatches"

Employers complying with the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) by filing Form 1095-C increasingly face another question: Are they in compliance with their I-9 obligations? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with...more

New N. Calif. Report Suggests High Cost of Giving Birth Linked to Increased Health System Consolidation

Childbirth is the leading indication for hospital admission in California, with roughly 500,000 deliveries in the state each year. This is particularly challenging for health plans serving Northern California, the most...more

Paying Employees to Opt Out of Insurance? BEWARE

Seyfarth Synopsis: That “win-win” in contract negotiation wherein employees are paid to opt out of employer insurance has become much more complicated thanks to the IRS. Basically, if bargaining parties do not follow new IRS...more

Recent Congressional Hearings

Congressional committees held hearings on a wide variety of on health policy issues this month before going on summer recess. Notable hearings include the following...more

DC Circuit strikes down HHS regulation regarding fixed indemnity plans

On July 1, 2016, in the case of Central United Life Insurance Company v. Burwell (No. 15-5310), the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...more

IRS Proposes Restrictions on Employer Opt-Out Payments for ACA Coverage Waivers

In early July the IRS issued proposed regulations addressing the effect that employer payments to employees who waive employer-sponsored health coverage, known as Opt-Out Payments, have on determining whether an ACA-covered...more

ColoradoCare Stands to Significantly Alter Health Care Services

In November, Colorado voters will cast ballots on Amendment 69, also known as ColoradoCare. ColoradoCare is an ambitious, far-reaching plan to amend the Colorado constitution which would establish a statewide universal...more

Best in Law: Beware of In-Lieu-Of Payments to Employees

Employers who allow their employees to opt for taxable cash payments in lieu of health benefits must consider the value of the payments when calculating overtime rates, a federal appellate court has ruled. Originally...more

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