Health Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Unlike Diamonds, You Cannot Presume Retiree Medical Benefits Are Forever

Last week, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that gives unionized employers in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky greater ability to modify medical benefits they provide to retirees pursuant to current...more

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2015: Explore New Trends in Reducing Corporate Health Care Costs

The increasing cost of healthcare is a significant concern for companies that provide health care benefits to their employees. With certain key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known...more

Supreme Court Reverses the Sixth Circuit’s Yard-Man Presumption

For the past quarter century, because of conflicting legal authority, employers who offer health care to their retirees, particularly in a unionized setting, have struggled to determine whether they can alter those benefits....more

Congress Clarifies the Expatriate Health Coverage Exemption

For expatriate health plans issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2015, the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (EHCCA) provides an exemption from various Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions. Last December,...more

Supreme Court Addresses an Employer’s Right To Amend Retiree Health Coverage

In M&G Polymers v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ordinary contract principles govern whether a collective bargaining agreement vests retirees in health coverage (and the contributions they are required to pay for...more

And They’re Off!! The Maryland Legislative Session Has Begun

Maryland has begun its legislative session and PK Law is monitoring bills of interest. Bear in mind that the session is early on and many changes may take place during the 90 days the General Assembly is seated. Here are...more

It Was the Economy, Stupid!

Remember Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid!” A study released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation indicates those four words are the best answer to the question, “Why are so many...more

Manatt on Medicaid: CMS Approves Indiana Waiver to Expand Medicaid

On January 27, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Indiana’s waiver request under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act to implement its Medicaid expansion. Referred to as the Healthy Indiana...more

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit's Approach to Retiree Medical Benefits

Ordinary contract principles govern disputes about collectively bargained retiree medical benefits. A Morgan Lewis team secured a major victory for employers when the U.S. Supreme Court, in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v....more

Beyond HIPAA: New Jersey Law Requires Encryption of Personal Data by Health Insurance Carriers

In response to data breaches that have occurred across the United States, several of which involved the theft of laptop computers, beginning August 1, 2015, health insurance carriers in New Jersey will be obligated to do more...more

Supreme Court Dispenses With the Yard-Man Inferences

In a decision watched closely by both employers and unions, a unanimous Supreme Court has resolved a thirty-plus year split among the circuit courts on the standards governing claims for retiree health-care benefits arising...more

Indiana Wins Federal Approval to Expand Medicaid Coverage Under Obamacare

Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached on the state’s Medicaid expansion proposal submitted in July. As many as 350,000 people could gain coverage under the federal health...more

Ding-Dong, Yard-Man Is Dead! Supreme Court Decision in Tackett a Huge Win for Employers in the Retiree Healthcare Arena

On Monday, a unanimous United States Supreme Court issued its decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, Supreme Court Case No. 13-101, vacating and remanding the Sixth Circuit’s holding that a group of retirees was...more

QNHII Regs Due Thursday—After Only Five Years

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law back in 2010, it directed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish the Consumer Operated & Oriented Program (CO-OP). The point of the CO-OP is to...more

Health Alert (Australia) - January 27, 2015

In This Issue: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. Excerpt from Reports: Ensuring National Capacity in Genomics-Guided Public Health Laboratory Surveillance. Australia. Department of Social...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects the Yard-Man Inference Vesting Lifetime Benefits for Union Retirees

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned three decades of precedent by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, unanimously ruling that, when no specific provision in a...more

Supreme Court Rejects Yard-Man: Ordinary Contract Principles Apply When Interpreting Retiree Medical Promises

The Supreme Court has unanimously vacated a Sixth Circuit ruling that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) vested retirees with lifetime medical benefits. M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 759...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights #4

This week, the IRS announces relief for some taxpayers who received excess advanced premium tax credits; Indiana and Arkansas make major announcements on Medicaid expansion and Iowa’s Governor announces a shift towards...more

Privacy Tuesday - January 2015

Good Tuesday – The East Coast prepares for Apocalypse (Sn)ow. In the meantime, here are three privacy-related tidbits for your day. Privacy Concerns Cause Scale Back of Release of HealthCare.gov Data - We...more

Three Factors Affecting the Mid-Level Practitioner Workforce, Part One

As more Kentuckians gain access to health care as a result of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare workforce shortages for primary care providers becomes problematic particularly in rural Kentucky. Never before have mid-level...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

U.S. Supreme Court Rebukes Reliance on Yard-Man In Retiree Health Benefit Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Circuit’s reliance on retiree-friendly inferences set forth in UAW v. Yard-Man are incompatible with ordinary principles of contract interpretation and should not be used when...more

Supreme Court Decides M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, holding that ordinary principles of contract law govern the interpretation of pension and insurance provisions of...more

Agencies Green Light Pilot Program to Allow Limited Wrap-Around Coverage for Health Insurance Policies Purchased on an Exchange

Under proposed rules recently issued by the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and HHS, employers may participate in a pilot program where they offer certain wraparound coverage as an “excepted benefit” to part-time employees,...more

New Proposed Rules Streamline ACA Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) Disclosure Requirement

In a very welcome development for health insurance issuers and employers who sponsor self-funded group health plans, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and HHS have issued joint new proposed regulations that will streamline...more

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