Health Care Reform Dashboard

Health Care Reform Dashboard

Charting Developments with the
Affordable Care Act and Beyond


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Last-Minute Reprieve for HSA-Compatible Telehealth Benefits

With little time to spare before the provisions expired, Congress has extended, and President Biden is set to sign into law, an important safe harbor that allows plan sponsors to continue offering reduced-cost telehealth services without disrupting the ability to contribute to health savings accounts (HSAs). The extension is part of the $1.7 trillion Consolidated [&hellip… Continue Reading »

IRS Issues New Flexible Spending Account Rules

The IRS issued a notice that addresses many of the questions employers have raised about flexible spending accounts (FSAs) in view of the new rules set forth in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA). The CAA provides temporary relief for concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing: 1. temporary expansions of the opportunity to carry [&hellip… Continue Reading »

COBRA Subsidies Included in Latest Stimulus Proposal

Group health plan sponsors and administrators may soon need to introduce changes to their offer of continued coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). The House Education and Labor Committee has proposed temporary COBRA subsidies and other modifications as part of the current COVID-19 stimulus package that is working its way [&hellip… Continue Reading »

A Second Proposal: EEOC Issues New Guidance on Nondiscrimination for Wellness Programs

Summary The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced it will issue much-anticipated guidance that revises its nondiscrimination rules for wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The Upshot The two sets of proposed regulations replace rules the EEOC withdrew in 2018 after a federal district court invalidated [&hellip… Continue Reading »

New Stimulus Law Seeks to Strengthen Mental Health Parity Compliance

This alert is the latest in a series from our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation and Health Care Practice Groups about the most recent federal stimulus bill.  We provided an overview of how the law addresses new substantive requirements for health plans and health care providers, see the Health Insurance/Provider Provisions section here.  We addressed [&hellip… Continue Reading »

New Stimulus Deal: Health Care Cost Transparency Rules

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed Congress’ most recent stimulus bill into law, covering $900 billion in economic relief for businesses and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The law addresses new substantive requirements for health plans and health care providers, including new restrictions on non-participating provider billing (so-called “surprise medical bills”), rules related [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Year-End COVID-19 Considerations for Health and Welfare Plans

Summary COVID-19 has dominated the agenda for health and welfare benefits in 2020. From suspended deadlines to mid-year election changes to enhanced cost-free coverage, the pandemic has resulted in significant changes to the design and operation of many health and welfare plans. As the year comes to a close, employers should consider whether they have [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Court Issues Injunction Against Revised ACA Nondiscrimination Rules

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an order on Monday (August 17, 2020) that prevented federal rules removing nondiscrimination protections from taking effect. The rules would have removed protections against discrimination based on gender identity and sex stereotyping from the nondiscrimination provision within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Enacts Changes to Employee Retirement and Health Benefit Plans, and Medicare

Following a brief shutdown of the federal government, on February 9, Congress passed and President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Budget Act), which provides Congress until March 23 to enact appropriation and certain other funding measures and establishes a general agreement on spending that will last into 2019. [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Budget Deal Addresses Health Benefit Issues

The Congressional agreement that reopened the federal government for three weeks quietly addressed—at least temporarily—several high-profile issues affecting public and private health benefits. Most significantly, the new appropriations act: Delays the effective date of the so-called Cadillac Tax by two years to 2022. This Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision imposes a 40 percent tax on [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Developments in the Affordable Care Act

After a brief lull in activity, recent developments are likely to involve all three branches of government in addressing issues under the Affordable Care Act. The Legislature: It is often said that Congress rarely takes action until a crisis needs to be addressed. With the demise of this summer’s repeal and replace effort, initiatives to [&hellip… Continue Reading »

House Passes American Health Care Act

As widely reported, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that, if enacted, would make the first major legislative changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Modified to provide states the opportunity to waive certain federal standards, the AHCA gained a narrow majority in the House and [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Affordable Care Act Survives Again; Repeal and Replace Bill Withdrawn

As has been widely reported, proponents of the American Health Care Act withdrew the bill from consideration before the full House of Representatives could vote on it last Friday. Early statements suggest there is no immediate intent to introduce a new bill to repeal, replace, or modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, certain measures [&hellip… Continue Reading »

ACA Repeal and Replace Plan is Released

The House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees have released, in two parts, budget reconciliation legislation, the first steps of Congress’ proposal to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Reconciliation legislation is limited to budget-related provisions and restricts legislators’ ability to address fully all of the repeal and replacement provisions that we [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Obama Signs 21st Century Cures Act, Adding $6.3 Billion For Medical Research

President Obama has signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act. Enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support, the Cures Act: Authorizes more than $6.3 billion in funding for medical research and drug development programs; Provides for new programs and increased funding for mental health treatment and substance use disorder programs; and Includes various Medicare provisions sought [&hellip… Continue Reading »