Health Insurance Healthcare Employer Group Health Plans

News & Analysis as of

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Congress Avoids a Government Shutdown... House and Senate Approves Measure to Expand the Affordable Care (ACA) Act Small Group Market to 100 Employees...Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurers to Receive Only...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - September 2015 #5

New study shows Marketplace premiums parallel the employer market; Montana likely to select a private insurer to administer benefits to its Medicaid expansion population; and Washington’s Exchange customers will begin paying...more

Healthcare Costs for the Average Family Have Risen Dramatically

According to consulting and actuarial firm Milliman’s “2015 Milliman Medical Index,” which measures the cost of healthcare for a typical American family of four receiving coverage from an employer-sponsored preferred provider...more

New HHS Rules Will Provide Greater Protections Against Gender Identity Discrimination

The Obama administration continues to use its executive authority to expand societal inclusion of transgender individuals. On September 3, the Department of Health and Human Services issued proposed rules under Section 1557...more

The “Cadillac Tax” is Rollin’ In!

When healthcare reform was rolled out in 2010, there was a provision included in the law imposing a tax on healthcare benefits provided to employees that exceed a threshold cost. This tax has been referred to as the...more

Limiting an Employee’s Hours to Avoid Offering Group Health Plan Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act: Evaluating the Risks...

Business leaders and human resources and employee benefits professionals are well aware of potential minefields for employer group health plan sponsors under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Large employer plan sponsors are...more

Are Wellness Programs Worth It?

Please see Chart below....more

The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 2 of 24): Yikes! The Costs of Failing to Comply...

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes information reporting rules on providers of minimum essential coverage, e.g., insurance carriers and self-funded plans, and on applicable large employers, i.e., those employers that are...more

Proceed With Caution: Does HIPAA Apply to Your Business?

Even if your business is not in the health care industry, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as updated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH...more

Health Care Update - June 2015 #4

In This Issue: - Pathway for Bipartisanship following King v. Burwell - Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Congressional Initiatives - Other Health Care News - Upcoming Congressional...more

The skinny on narrow networks

The insurance exchanges created under Affordable Care Act have facilitated increased competition. Old version managed care models implemented cost-savings measures like pre-authorizations for medical care, hospital length of...more

May Companies Reduce Employee Hours to Avoid ACA Requirements?

The Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) generally requires that large employers offer health coverage that meets certain requirements to their full-time employees (i.e., employees working 30 hours or more per week) and their...more

Alert: Health Plan Update on Out-of-Pocket Limitations

The Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) established limitations on the annual out-of-pocket costs that a health plan may impose on a participant. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and the...more

EEOC Guidance: Redesigning Wellness Programs to Comply with the ADA

Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been actively taking legal action against employers over wellness programs that it considers coercive under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), companies...more

The ACA’s Toyota tax

For several years now, employers have spent a great deal of time focusing on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) play-or-pay mandate. Numerous articles have been written and numerous educational seminars have been given...more

EEOC Issues Proposed Rule Addressing Employer Wellness Programs and the ADA

On April 20, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a proposed rule to amend the regulations and interpretive guidance implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) as it...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - May 2015 #2

Latest numbers show dramatic post-ACA coverage gains; in California, an increase in dental-related ER visits follows cuts to Medicaid dental benefits; and the Massachusetts governor requests to maintain its definition of...more

EEOC Issues Proposed Regulations On Wellness Programs

Last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) officially published proposed regulations that provide employers guidance on implementing wellness programs that comply with the Americans with Disabilities...more

Wellness Programs: Agencies Issue Helpful Guidance but Look Before You Leap

Recent studies indicate that wellness programs significantly improve the health of workers. If only it were so easy to implement a wellness program . . . As explained in our July 17, 2013 Benefits Update – Final...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2015-16, intending to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - February 2015 #2

HHS ramps up for the final week of open enrollment. Families buying into CHIP in Pennsylvania are granted tax relief, and though Medicaid expansion efforts seem to have hit a wall in Tennessee and Wyoming, Arkansas assures...more

Decision Alert: US Supreme Court Potentially Shifts the Balance in Healthcare Employee Benefits Litigation

Justice Clarence Thomas and a unanimous US Supreme Court decided to vacate a Sixth Circuit decision and hold that the federal courts cannot assume from silence in a union’s collective bargain agreement that retiree group...more

A Quick Look at Healthcare Issues Expected to Make News in 2015

As we look into our crystal balls, we do not expect a lot of new issues in 2015. Rather, we believe that most of the significant issues will be a continuation of issues that arose in 2014 or earlier. ...more

Excepted Benefits: Final regulations provide guidance on dental, vision and employee assistance plans

The Departments of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) have recently published final regulations related to when limited scope dental and vision benefits and employee assistance programs...more

"New Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act"

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires non-grandfathered group health plans to provide benefits for items or services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). These benefits must be provided without...more

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