Health Care Reform Dashboard

Health Care Reform Dashboard

Charting Developments with the
Affordable Care Act and Beyond

Employer Responsibilities

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06/05/2019

HHS Proposes to Scale Back ACA Nondiscrimination Rules

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released proposed regulations that, if finalized, will significantly narrow the scope of the nondiscrimination requirements under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1557 prohibits certain health programs from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability, [&hellip… Continue Reading »
12/03/2018

IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadline Again This Year

For the third consecutive year, the IRS has extended by 30 days the deadline for health plan sponsors to furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals. A 30-day extension would place the deadline on a Saturday, so this year’s reprieve will allow employers, health insurers, and other plan sponsors to distribute the forms on or [&hellip… Continue Reading »
11/21/2018

IRS Issues Additional Guidance on Health Reimbursement Arrangements

The IRS has followed up on its recently proposed Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) regulations with guidance on some open issues. Notice 2018-88 specifically addresses the interplay between HRAs and two Internal Revenue Code requirements: the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act (Code Section 4980H) and the nondiscrimination rules for self-funded health plans (Code Section 105(h)). Employer [&hellip… Continue Reading »
12/26/2017

IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadline

As it did last year, the IRS has extended the deadline for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals by 30 days. This reprieve will allow employers, health insurers, and other plan sponsors to distribute the forms on or before March 2, 2018, rather than January 31, 2018. The IRS also extends the good-faith transition [&hellip… Continue Reading »
11/15/2017

IRS Prepares to Enforce ACA Employer Mandate

The IRS has announced its intent to begin enforcing the employer-shared responsibility provisions (otherwise known as the employer mandate or pay-or-play provisions) of the Affordable Care Act for the 2015 calendar year. The IRS also published a template letter that it will mail to any applicable large employer (ALE) if it determines the ALE owes [&hellip… Continue Reading »
02/17/2017

CMS, IRS Address Affordable Care Act Issues in Transition

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the IRS have each published guidance on matters arising under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is too early to tell whether these measures—some of the first guidance published under the ACA by the new administration—are singular acts or signals of guidance to come, as Congress [&hellip… Continue Reading »
01/20/2017

Health Care Reform in Transition While Congress Deliberates

Changes are imminent for the Affordable Care Act and a range of other laws and regulations affecting the health care industry. Ballard Spahr attorneys established a Health Care Reform Initiative in 2008 to monitor and analyze health care reform developments. This Health Care Reform Dashboard was a product of that initiative. We intend to continue following [&hellip… Continue Reading »
12/02/2016

OCR Warns of Phishing as Business Associate Audits Begin

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted an alert (and a follow-up alert) warning health plans, health care providers, and their vendors of a mock communication involving the OCR audit program under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The email falsifies HHS departmental letterhead [&hellip… Continue Reading »
11/21/2016

IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadline

The IRS has extended the deadline for furnishing 2016 Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to individuals by 30 days to March 2, 2017. The reprieve offers welcome relief to employers, health insurers, and other plan sponsors who would otherwise have been required to distribute these forms under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by January 31, 2017. [&hellip… Continue Reading »
09/27/2016

Hot Topics in Employer Health Benefits

As we start looking forward to 2017, and as many employers head into annual enrollment periods this fall, it is necessary to account for changes in the law that have a significant impact on health benefit plans. This short list of significant developments may help you prepare for what is coming: Affordable Care Act (ACA) Reporting. The [&hellip… Continue Reading »
08/08/2016

IRS Proposes Adjustments in Individual Mandate Reporting

The IRS has issued proposed regulations on the individual mandate reporting requirements under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code. To a significant degree, the new regulations reflect guidance previously published by the IRS. Although the rules are only proposed, health plan sponsors may generally rely on them now. The new guidance addresses several discrete [&hellip… Continue Reading »
06/03/2016

ACA Nondiscrimination Regulations Finalized

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued final regulations under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities. To be subject to these nondiscrimination rules, the health program or activity [&hellip… Continue Reading »
03/02/2016

DOL Issues Proposed Updates for Summaries of Benefits and Coverage

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued an updated template Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), Glossary of Coverage and Medical Terms, and related materials. The revised materials remain in proposed form, but have been sent to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget with a request that the templates and glossary be approved [&hellip… Continue Reading »
12/30/2015

IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadlines

Recognizing that many employers and others may need additional time to prepare reports under new Affordable Care Act requirements, the IRS has announced an automatic extension automatic extension of the deadline for delivering these reports. As a result: Forms 1095-B and 1095-C for 2015 do not need to be furnished to individuals until March 31, 2016. The deadline [&hellip… Continue Reading »
12/28/2015

Further Guidance on ACA Market Reforms for Group Health Plans

Following up on the issuance of final regulations on various market reform provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the IRS has issued a notice with Questions and Answers that take a more detailed look at specific ACA issues. In particular, this notice addresses: Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). The guidance confirms that retiree-only HRAs may [&hellip… Continue Reading »
12/22/2015

Cadillac Tax Delayed, Made Deductible

In the first significant congressional modification of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since its passage, the notorious “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer health plans has been delayed two years, from 2018 to 2020.  The delay is included in the omnibus spending and tax extenders bills President Obama signed on December 22.  Delay of the Cadillac [&hellip… Continue Reading »
11/06/2015

Bipartisan Budget Act Repeals ACA Auto-Enrollment Rule

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314), signed into law on November 2, 2015, repeals the automatic enrollment rule added by Section 1511 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The auto-enrollment rule amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require employers, if they employed more than 200 full-time employees and offered a health [&hellip… Continue Reading »
09/30/2015

Reporting for ACA Mandates: Final Forms and Additional Guidance

The IRS has finalized the 2015 forms and instructions for reporting under the individual and employer mandates and issued additional guidance on these new reporting requirements. Forms and Instructions. The following forms are now available: Form 1094-B Form 1095-B Form 1094-C Form 1095-C Instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C [&hellip… Continue Reading »
05/26/2015

New Guidance on Cost-Sharing Limits and Provider Nondiscrimination Rules

The U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury have jointly issued a new set of FAQs that clarifies the application of the rules establishing cost-sharing limits. For 2016, non-grandfathered group health plans must cap the amount that plan participants pay in deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and the like at $6,850 for self-only [&hellip… Continue Reading »
05/22/2015

New Guidance on Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements

The Internal Revenue Service has issued two lengthy sets of questions and answers on the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that employers report on their compliance with the employer mandate and employees’ qualification for exchange subsidies. The new guidance is divided into general information about the reporting rules and information about completing the actual [&hellip… Continue Reading »
01/09/2015

Expatriate Plans Exempted from Many Affordable Care Act Provisions

In the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (the recently enacted federal budget bill often known as the “CRomnibus” legislation), Congress has exempted health plans designed to cover expatriates from most of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The exemption will generally apply where a group health plan provides significant health coverage and substantially [&hellip… Continue Reading »
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