Health Care Reform Dashboard

Health Care Reform Dashboard

Charting developments on the
Affordable Care Act

Employer Responsibilities

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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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Health Plan ID Program Suspended

Late on October 31, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of E-Health Standards and Services announced that it was suspending the program that required all health plans to register for a health plan ID number to be used in certain electronic transactions. This program required larger health plans to obtain a health [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Health Plan ID Requirements and Other End-of-Year Considerations

Employers and other health plan sponsors may be focused on preparing for the commencement of the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act on January 1, 2015, but a number of other deadlines and developments are emerging this autumn for plan sponsors to consider. Health Plan IDs. As we reported earlier, many health plans are [&hellip… Continue Reading »

IRS Issues More Guidance on Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements

Following up on regulations and forms published earlier this year, the IRS has issued instructions and other guidance on the shared responsibility reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act. The new rules require: Health benefit providers, including group health plan sponsors and insurers, to provide information on an individual’s compliance with the individual mandate requirements [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Government Agencies Release Further Accommodations to Organizations Opposing Mandated Contraceptive Coverage

In response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Labor (DOL) published proposed rules on August 22, 2014, expanding the availability of the religious accommodation to the contraceptive mandate provided in their July 2013 final regulations to closely held [&hellip… Continue Reading »

IRS Issues Draft ACA Reporting Forms

The Internal Revenue Service recently released draft versions of the forms that will be used to meet the shared responsibility reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These draft forms have been released for comment and may not be used for filing until they are finalized. Instructions for the forms have not yet been [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Midyear Check on Health Plan Compliance

If you sponsor or administer a group health plan, you are almost certainly taking steps to prepare for legal requirements that will become effective on or before January 1, 2015. New rules under HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and other laws will affect your plans. As we pass the midpoint of 2014, it is [&hellip… Continue Reading »

New ACA Shared Responsibility Reporting Requirements

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are required to report information relating to both the employer mandate and the individual mandate. As a result of these new rules, employers will need to provide information to the government relevant to whether employers and individuals are meeting their responsibilities under these mandates. Employers also will have to [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Employer Mandate Addresses Small Employers and Staffing Organizations

The final regulations on the ACA’s shared responsibility rules for employers (the “employer mandate”) established basic rules for compliance, including: Rules for determining whether the employer mandate applies A look-back measurement methodology that most employers subject to the rules will use for determining who is a full-time employee Safe harbor alternatives for determining whether coverage [&hellip… Continue Reading »