Tag Archives: patient protection and affordable care act

Trump Administration Limits Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

On Friday October 6, 2017, the Trump administration released two interim final rules expanding the exemptions allowed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (the “ACA’s”) contraceptive coverage mandate. Under the ACA, employer group health plans generally are required to cover contraceptives, sterilization, and related patient education and counseling, with exemptions provided for religious houses of worship. The exemption was expanded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby 34 S. Ct. 2751 (2014), which held health plans of closely held for-profit corporations are not required to cover contraceptives if doing so would contradict the owner’s religious beliefs under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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HEALTH CARE REFORM UPDATE: EMPLOYERS MUST QUICKLY FINALIZE 2014 COMPLIANCE EFFORTS

Regulators have recently issued a voluminous amount of guidance addressing how employers must comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Much of the guidance addresses the requirement that, effective January 1, 2014, affected employers must offer qualifying health care coverage to all full-time employees or pay a tax. While the regulations have generally been issued in proposed form, there is enough guidance for employers to develop a fairly detailed approach to PPACA compliance. Furthermore, failure to address issues now may subject a business to significant new taxes in 2014. More…

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Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Alert: Issue 4 – How do you determine if your business is subject to the "pay or play" penalties?

This is the fourth Alert in a series designed to help employers understand and address the effects of Health Care Reform on your business so you are in the best position to make decisions in response to these new requirements. Our first Alert dealt with the implementation of the new health flexible spending account limits; our second Alert provided guidance on reporting the cost of health care coverage on Form W-2; and our most recent Alert provided a step-by-step process for determining if your business will be an “applicable large employer” subject to the employer shared responsibility (“pay or play”) requirements in 2014.

At this point, most of the regulatory guidance needed has either not yet been issued or has only been issued in proposed form. Therefore, we will provide the best possible guidance based on existing knowledge.

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Five Actions Hospitality Employers Should Consider Taking to Comply with the Affordable Care Act

By Greta Ravitsky

I wrote the January 2013 edition of Take 5: Views You Can Use, a newsletter published by the Labor and Employment practice of Epstein Becker Green.

In it, I summarize five actions that hospitality employers should consider taking in 2013 as the DOL steps up its audit efforts under the leadership of the reenergized Obama administration,

  1. Assess the Workforce
  2. Choose Whether to “Pay” or to “Play”
  3. Evaluate Existing Wellness Programs and/or Implement New Wellness Programs to Enhance Employees’ Health Profiles and to Avoid or Minimize the “Cadillac Tax”
  4. Understand and Be Ready to Comply with New Tax-Related Changes and Requirements
  5. Conduct Self-Audits to Ensure Compliance
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Affordable Care Act Webinar, January 9 – To Pay or To Play: An Analysis of the Shared Responsibility Rules

Please join Epstein Becker Green’s Health Care & Life Sciences and Labor & Employment practitioners as we continue to review the Affordable Care Act and its ongoing impact on hospitality employers and their group health plans.

In less than a year, hospitality employers employing at least 50 full-time employees will be subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions. Under these provisions, if hospitality employers do not offer health coverage or do not offer affordable health coverage that provides a minimum level of value to their full-time employees, they may be subject to a tax penalty under the proposed regulations just issued by the Internal Revenue Service.

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Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Alert-Issue 2: Health Care Reform — Practical steps for employers

The re-election of President Obama and the lack of change in the control of the houses of Congress effectively ensure that the provisions of Health Care Reform will remain in place and will continue along the path of implementation.

This is our second Alert in a series designed to help employers understand and address the effects of Health Care Reform on their businesses so they are in the best position to make decisions in response to these new requirements. Our first Alert dealt with the implementation of New Health Flexible Spending Account Limits. At this point, most of the regulatory guidance needed has not yet been issued. Therefore, we will provide the best possible guidance based on existing knowledge.

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Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Alert-Issue 1: Health Care Reform: It’s the law!

The re-election of President Obama and the lack of change in the control of the houses of Congress effectively ensure that the provisions of Health Care Reform will remain in place and will continue along the path of implementation.

In order to help employers address the effects of Health Care Reform and decide whether to design their plans to comply or to forego offering health plans, McDonald Hopkins will issue a series of Alerts over the coming months focusing on various issues. At this point, most of the regulatory guidance needed has not yet been issued. Therefore, we will provide the best possible guidance based on existing knowledge.

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The ACA Is Constitutional, but What’s Next?

Most reasonably-well-informed citizens, and certainly everyone concerned with health care, is well aware that the Supreme Court concluded its most-recent term with the Chief Justice joining the Court’s so called “liberal” wing in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sibelius, in upholding essentially all of the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), including its most controversial provision – the “individual mandate” —  not under the Commerce Clause, as its proponents argued, but under the tax power.  The Court’s majority also upheld, but limited, the controversial Medicaid expansion provision of the ACA. The expansion survives, but if a State declines to participate in the expansion, it can’t be constitutionally deprived of the federal Medicaid funding that it previously had received.

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HEALTH REFORM: Key Factors That May Influence a State’s Decision on Whether to Expand Its Medicaid Population Under the Affordable Care Act

Publication note: Read more about this alert.[1]

Speculation abounds with respect to the decision that states will make on the issue of whether to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”),[2] now that the Supreme Court of the United States (the “Court”) has made the option to abstain a meaningful one.[3] This health reform alert highlights some key factors that may influence a state’s decision on whether to implement such an expansion.

In order to expand health coverage and make some attempts at reducing health care costs, the ACA implements a myriad of provisions that increase the federal government’s role in the health care delivery and health insurance benefits sectors—historically, the purview of mostly state regulation. One provision recently subjected to constitutional scrutiny includes the individual mandate for private citizens to purchase or obtain health benefits coverage or face a penalty.[4] The Court also reviewed a provision containing the criteria for expanding Medicaid coverage to new eligibles in the states.[5] This health reform alert focuses on the impact of the Court’s decision on the latter issue, i.e., Medicaid expansion. The ACA was opposed by 26 states before the Court,[6] and the Republican-led House of Representatives has voted to repeal or defund the law 31 times.[7] Statistics such as these disclose the high level of resistance to adoption of the ACA. Consequently, it is not surprising that states are seriously weighing the Medicaid expansion option.

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"How changes to health care laws will impact businesses in the short and long term," Dale R. Vlasek interviewed by Smart Business Magazine

During the next two years, there are things that employers need to know and need to be doing to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“While this was working its way through the Supreme Court, many were holding their breath waiting to see what would happen,” says Dale R. Vlasek, a member and chair of the employee benefits practice group for McDonald Hopkins. “The decision is that it is constitutional, which means that businesses must take action.”

Smart Business spoke with Vlasek about the changes businesses need to be aware of as health care reform takes effect. 

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