Health Insurance

News & Analysis as of

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 Surprising Truth about Hobby Lobby's Effect in California

On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, holding that closely-held corporations could refuse to provide contraceptive coverage mandated by U.S....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

Florida Passes New Data Breach Notification Law Requiring Enforcement of Civil Penalties For Untimely Notice

Personal information now includes online account information, health insurance policy numbers, and medical information - Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014...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

Still Reimbursing Employees For Health Insurance Premiums? You May Be Subject To Significant Penalties!

Until very recently, it was not uncommon for employers to reimburse employees for substantiated premiums paid for individual health insurance coverage. Many small employers saw this as a viable alternative to group...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

Final Regulations Allow Retirement Plan Payments for Accident, Health and Disability Insurance

On May 9, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service finalized regulations that govern the tax treatment of payments made by retirement plans to pay accident or health insurance premiums. Under the final regulations, accident or...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

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

Further Guidance for Employers Providing Benefits Through Captives

On May 8, 2014, the IRS released Rev. Rul. 2014-15 (available here). The ruling provides guidance to the growing number of employers electing to insure or re-insure employee benefits through captive insurance arrangement. The...more

TCPA Plaintiff Loses—Express Consent Given to Health Insurance Plan Trumps Claim

In a recent case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the district court held that the plaintiff’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) claim should be dismissed. The court ruled that the...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

The Check’s in the Mail - Who Is Responsible for Payment in a Delegated-Network System?

In today’s healthcare system, reimbursement issues involve not only prompt pay statutory provisions but also various risk-shifting arrangements included in a delegated-network system of managed care. When the insolvency of...more

Two Federal Circuits Find Health Insurance Claims Outside Scope Of Arbitration Clauses

Because courts apply a presumption of arbitrability when they analyze whether particular claims fall within the scope of an arbitration clause, and arbitration clauses are generally drafted very broadly, I don’t usually get...more

New Model COBRA Notices

To coordinate information about the new marketplace/exchange coverage that may be available under the Affordable Care Act, today the U.S. Department of Labor, in conjunction with the IRS and U.S. Department of Health and...more

Dr. Dettling Talks About Shoulder/Knee Work Injuries

Orthopedic surgeon James Dettling, M.D. specializes in shoulder and knee injuries. About half his patients are injured workers treating under a Nevada workers' comp claim. He and long-time medical assistant, Patrick...more

COBRA Coverage Too Expensive? Consider ACA Coverage Instead, Obama Administration Says

On Friday, the Obama administration announced a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) that will require that notices sent to workers regarding Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”) health insurance coverage...more

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Review Sixth Circuit’s Pro-Union Inference in Retiree Health Insurance Benefits Cases

The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to resolve a circuit split about how courts should interpret collective bargaining agreements that provide for health insurance benefits for retired employees in M&G Polymers...more

Legislation Permitting Healthcare Providers to Negotiate Jointly with Health Insurers Introduced in Congress

Legislation was recently introduced by Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) that would permit healthcare providers to negotiate jointly with health insurers concerning contract terms without running afoul of the antitrust...more

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