News & Analysis as of

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

New Washington Rule Clarifies Authority to Issue Penalties Against TPAs

The Washington State Department of Health has promulgated a new rule clarifying the Department's authority to issue civil penalties against health carriers and third-party administrators. This rule, which is outside the...more

Health Care Alert: ACA Health Insurance Subsidies Called into Question by DC Circuit

Yesterday, a divided three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit struck down the IRS regulation allowing federal premium subsidies for individuals buying health insurance at...more

Health Update - July 2014

Avoiding the Regulatory Land Mines of Commercial ACOs - While providers are showing great interest in creating ACOs to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), they are showing even greater enthusiasm...more

Hobby Lobby: Just a Start

As a trial lawyer, I rarely pay much attention to dissenting opinions. They do not serve as meaningful precedent, and they tend only to express the loser’s frustrated perspective. But Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the Supreme...more

A Tale of Two Circuits: D.C. Circuit, Fourth Circuit Split on ACA Subsidies

It was the best of times for ACA subsidies, it was the worst of times for ACA subsidies. On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) and the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (“Fourth...more

Health Law Blog: Court Strikes Down Tax Credit Provision for Low Income Americans Participating Through Federal and Federal/State...

Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled the IRS’ interpretation of a key ACA provision is invalid. Specifically, the court found that the IRS did not have the authority to interpret...more

Rethinking COBRA After Health Care Reform

The Health Care Reform Act made many changes to health plans, but one thing it did not do was expressly eliminate or change the COBRA rules. Although health care reform does not expressly change COBRA, it does, in many ways,...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™: July 2014

Survey of ACA Navigators Finds 10.6 Million People Sought Enrollment Help — In a survey released this week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (“Kaiser”) estimates that approximately 10.6 million people received assistance...more

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: What Else the Hobby Lobby Decision means

Whether you are a friend or foe of the Hobby Lobby decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court this past Monday, citizens must know the very real and far-reaching consequences of the decision. This...more

The ACA’s Bumpy Ride

From the monumental failure of the initial government website for the federal health insurance marketplace (healthcare.gov) to the looming employer mandate, the Affordable Care Act has garnered its fair share of criticism....more

Telemedicine and Mobile Health Innovations Amid Increasing Regulatory Oversight

The growing mobile health market is rapidly transforming health care delivery. More than 80 percent of physicians use mobile technology to provide patient care, and more than 25 percent of commercially insured patients use...more

High Rates of Unhealthy Enrollees in ACA Exchanges

Perhaps putting added pressure on insurers as they prepare to set rates for 2015, new evidence suggests that people enrolled in health plans under the Affordable Care Act have higher rates of serious health conditions than...more

The IRS Says (Again) That Certain Employer Payment Plans Won’t Fly

The IRS recently issued two new Q&As to underscore that arrangements allowing employers to reimburse employees on a pre-tax basis for premiums used to purchase individual health coverage, either inside or outside of a public...more

Avoiding Sticker Shock: A Look Into What Are Considered “Reasonable and Customary” Charges Under 28 CCR §1300.71(a)(3)(B)

In the case Children’s Hospital Central Cal. v. Blue Cross of Cal. (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) ___Cal.App.4th ___ (No. F065603), The Children’s Hospital Central California (“Hospital”) and Blue Cross of California (“Blue Cross”)...more

Employer Reimbursements For Health Insurance Policy Premiums–Care Needed

Employers who reimburse employees on a pre-tax basis for premiums the employees pay on their own individual health insurance policies (whether under an Obamacare Exchange or otherwise) are at risk for a $100 per day per...more

Medicaid Enrollment Continues to Grow

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has reported that at the close of April, an additional 6 million Americans have enrolled in Medicaid and related health programs for the poor since the launch of coverage...more

IRS Issues Guidance Effectively Prohibiting Employers From Reimbursing Employees For Individual Health Insurance Premiums

The IRS’ reasoning is that such reimbursement arrangements, often referred to as “employer payment plans” are “group health plans.” All group health plans must meet the Affordable Care Act’s “market reform” requirements, such...more

Health Systems Continue To Acquire Insurers

The wall between health care providers and health insurers continues to erode, as Ascension Health’s CEO acknowledges Ascension is in talks to acquire WellCare Health Plans. Ascension is the nation’s largest nonprofit health...more

Labor Pains: The $2 Million Part-Time Employee

One of your employees (we’ll call him “Don”) cannot enroll in your health insurance plan because you classify him as “part-time” (one who works less than 30 hours a week). This forces Don to get health insurance through a...more

Health Insurance Coverage for the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Womble Carlyle Government Relations lobbied successfully to gain coverage for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder under the NC State Health Plan...more

Changes & Opportunities in 2014 for Small Employers under ACA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) brings about significant healthcare reform changes, as well as opportunities for small employers in 2014. Many of the reforms affect all employers who sponsor group health plans; however, the...more

HEAL Advisory: New COBRA Model Notices and Coordination with Marketplace Enrollment

On May 2, 2014, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services published a series of guidance and model notices clarifying the provision of health insurance to recently terminated employees. The Department of...more

State Issues Healthy PA Program RFA to Insure 500,000+

The Corbett administration’s efforts on the Healthy PA initiative continue to move forward. Late last week, the Department of Public Welfare issued a Request for Application (RFA) for private market health plans to provide...more

NY Bill Seeks to Strip Insurers of Discretion When Substance Abuse Services Should Be ERISA Preempted

The New York State Senate is considering passing Bill No. 4326 which seeks to address an epidemic of heroin and prescription drug abuse by requiring insurers to provide in-patient treatment to addicts. Publicity over the...more

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