Health Insurance

News & Analysis as of

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

HealthCare Fraud and Courtesies: What to Know Before Waiving a Copayment

Many healthcare facilities and physicians waive the insurance copayment for physicians and their families (known as professional courtesy) or other patients. Yet, despite how prevalent the practice is and the limited...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 16: So What, Exactly, is an “Offer of Coverage”?

Whether an employer makes the requisite offer of group health plan coverage is critical to the application of the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules as reflected in final implementing regulations...more

CMS Approves Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Waiver

CMS approved Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance (“Medicaid”) waiver request entitled Healthy Pennsylvania (“Waiver” or “Healthy Pennsylvania”) by letter dated August 28, 2014. Governor Tom Corbett and the Pennsylvania...more

What's the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid in the Context of Long-Term Care?

Although their names are confusingly alike, Medicaid and Medicare are quite different programs. Both programs provide health coverage, but Medicare is an “entitlement” program, meaning that everyone who reaches age 65 and is...more

Incurred Treatment

A recent Appeal decision by Director’s Delegate Evans provides some guidance on the requirement that treatment be “incurred” before it is payable under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, Accidents on or after November...more

Getting the Best Medical Care: a Newsletter from Patrick Malone - August 2014

In This Issue: - One Consumer's Story - Why Were You Denied? - Preparing for a Successful Appeal - Getting Help - Persistent Consumer Wins Big - Excerpt from Introduction: When Your Health Insurer...more

CMS, ONC Adopt EHR Standards Flexibility for Eligible Providers; Delay Start of Stage 3

On August 29, 2014, CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) issued a final rule adopting the agencies’ proposal to grant flexibility for eligible providers regarding which edition of certified EHR...more

Illinois Supreme Court Rules that Public Sector Retiree Health Subsidies are Constitutionally Protected Benefits

As covered in more detail in a separate alert, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Kanerva v. Weems by a 6-1 margin that state-subsidized retiree health coverage premiums are subject to the pension protection clause of the...more

OIG Advisory Opinion Approves Medigap Insurer’s Plan to Use Preferred Hospital Network

On August 25, 2014, the OIG released an advisory opinion declining to impose civil monetary penalties on a Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance – or Medigap – insurer that planned to discount inpatient hospital deductibles...more

California Legislative Update: August 2014

AB 2074 amends Section 1194.2 of the California Labor Code to allow an employee who alleges minimum wage violations to file suit for liquidated damages any time before the expiration of the statute of limitation on the...more

Efforts to Stop Health Insurance Fraud Through Use of Contractors Under Fire

In recent reports, from June 25, 2014 and August 13, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlights the mixed results achieved by the federal government's increased efforts to crack down on health insurance fraud...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™

Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Health System Network Affecting 4.5 Million Individuals – Community Health Systems, Inc. (“CHS”) reported this week that the information of approximately 4.5 million individuals has been affected by...more

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