Category Archives: Health Care Reform

IRS Extends ACA Employer Reporting Due Dates

Employers will have 60 more days to send notices to participants and beneficiaries, and about 90 more days to send notices to the IRS about health coverage offered and employees’ health coverage status, the IRS announced Dec. 28. IRS Notice…

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Spending Law Brakes Cadillac Tax for Two Years

Employers will have two more years in which to respond to an Affordable Care Act tax on high-cost health plans, which was due to take effect in 2018. On Dec. 18, President Obama signed an omnibus spending package that includes…

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ACA Proposal Addresses Balance Billing and Narrow Networks

Employers that purchase small group coverage that is federally regulated under the Affordable Care Act will have additional assurances that their plan members will not be balance billed in certain situations, under proposed rules issued in pre-publication form on Nov….

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Health Plans Should Learn New Rules to Prevent Balance Billing

Thanks to cost pressures exacerbated by the Affordable Care Act, narrow-network plans have increased in popularity because of their lower premiums, but plans using such networks need to think about associated potential problems with poor provider access, balance billing and…

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Grandfathered Plan and Patient Protection Guidance Finalized

How much a health plan may change before losing grandfathered plan status was addressed in a final Affordable Care Act rule issued on Nov. 13 by the three U.S. departments that administer ACA reform. The rule (which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2017) finalizes…

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Obama Signs Bill Eliminating ACA’s Auto-enrollment Requirement

Large employers with 200 and more employees will not have to automatically enroll their workforces into health plans, under budget legislation signed by President Obama. This Affordable Care Act provision was repealed because it was a low government priority and because…

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Reform Agencies Warn: Don’t Unduly Restrict Preventive Care

Plans may not impose cost-sharing on out-of-network services unless in-network providers are available and the plan member goes out of network in spite of that, federal agencies  noted in FAQs on the ACA Part XXIX. But if network provider directories…

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Obama Signs PACE Act Repealing ACA Small-Group Expansion

On Oct. 7, 2015, President Obama signed, without comment, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, which amends the Affordable Care Act’s definition of a “small-group,” a move intended to force mid-sized companies into providing richer coverage to workers. The…

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After-tax HSAs may help employers avoid paying the Cadillac tax

Plan design can help employer plan sponsors avoid the objectionable task of paying excise taxes on health plan coverage they provide to employees. The Cadillac tax is the Affordable Care Act’s way of taxing health benefits, in part to fund…

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House Votes to Repeal ACA Small-group Insurance Expansion

The U.S. House of Representatives in a voice vote on Sept. 28 unanimously approved H.R. 1624, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, which would redefine small employer as having 50 or fewer employees and give states the option of expanding the…

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