Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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Category Archives: Affordable Care Act

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HHS Proposes to Narrow Scope of Nondiscrimination Regulations under Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently proposed regulations that scale back nondiscrimination protections under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new regulations, proposed on May 24, 2019, represent a marked shift in HHS’s policy by loosening the nondiscrimination requirements imposed on health plans and other entities and substantially … Continue Reading

Nationwide Injunction Halts Exemptions and Accommodations to the ACA Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

On January 14, 2019, a district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted a nationwide preliminary injunction halting the application of final regulations governing religious and moral-based exemptions from the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) mandate to cover contraceptives without cost sharing. The final regulations would have dramatically expanded the scope of existing exemptions and … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Texas Judge Declares Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional

In this episode of the Proskauer Benefits Brief, partner Robert Projansky and associate Katrina McCann discuss the recent district court case, Texas et al. v. The United States of America, which declared the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. On December 14, 2018, a district court judge in the Northern District of Texas deemed the entirety of the Affordable Care Act … Continue Reading

District Court Declares Entire Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional – What It Means for Employers and Plan Sponsors

In a surprising turn of events, on Friday, December 14th, a district court judge in the Northern District of Texas declared that the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) individual mandate is unconstitutional and that, a result, the entire ACA is invalid. Although the ACA remains in effect for the time being and an immediate appeal to … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure Form Must Be Filed by November 30 and Annually Thereafter

Massachusetts recently published guidance regarding its new Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) annual filing, which is due for the first time on November 30, 2018 and then annually thereafter. This new HIRD form replaces one that was suspended in 2014 because it became unnecessary due to the ACA’s reporting requirements. The new HIRD requirement consists … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: ACA Employer Assessment Letters

In this episode of the Proskauer Benefits Brief, senior counsel Damian Myers and associate Liz Down examine the IRS’s enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer shared responsibility mandate. We discuss how the IRS is assessing penalties and offer tips on what employers can do when they receive assessment notices. Be sure to tune in for the … Continue Reading

Congress Delays the “Cadillac Tax” and Other ACA-Related Taxes and Fees

On January 22, 2018 Congress passed (and the President signed) the Federal Register Printing Savings Act (the “Act”), which temporarily (until February 8, 2018) continued funding federal government activity and appropriates funds to various health-related programs (e.g., the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, and childhood obesity programs).  In addition to providing for appropriations, the Act … Continue Reading

IRS Once Again Extends Distribution (Not Filing) Deadline for ACA Reporting and Continues Good Faith Standard

Following the old “better late than never” axiom, the IRS recently announced (see Notice 2018-06) that once again it would be extending the distribution (but not filing) deadline for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting requirements set forth in Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). Under Code Section 6055, health … Continue Reading

ACA Employer Mandate Assessments Coming

Within the past few weeks, IRS officials have informally indicated that the IRS would begin assessing tax penalties under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer shared responsibility. The IRS has now updated its Questions and Answers on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions under the Affordable Care Act (see Q&As 55-58) and has issued a form preliminary … Continue Reading

Notice Requirement for Small Employer HRAs Delayed Pending Regulations

On February 27, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2017-20 delaying the notice requirement for qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (“QSEHRAs”).  By way of background, prior to enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures Act”) in December 2016, the Affordable Care Act prohibited HRAs unless they were integrated with group health plans.  … Continue Reading

Repealing and Replacing the ACA: Five Developments Likely to Occur in the Years Ahead

On the back of the 2016 United States presidential election results, the health care industry ponders how a Republican president and Congress will transform the business environment. The health care industry has a number of important questions which need to be examined. Proskauer’s Health Care Group looks at key issues, including: the meaning of “repeal … Continue Reading

IRS Extends Distribution (Not Filing) Deadline for ACA Reporting and Continues Good Faith Standard

Today, the IRS announced (see Notice 2016-70) an extension to the distribution (but not filing) deadline for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting requirements set forth in Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”).  Under Code Section 6055, health coverage providers are required to file with the IRS, and distribute to … Continue Reading

Marketplace Subsidy Notices – What Employers Should Know

As promised by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in late-2015, the Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs) have started sending notices informing employers that employees have enrolled in a FFM and were determined eligible for premium subsidies. Because the employer shared responsibility penalties set forth in Section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) … Continue Reading

Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury Departments Release New Summary of Benefits and Coverage Templates and Accompanying Documents

The Departments of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Labor (“DOL”), and Treasury (the “Departments”) have jointly released final changes to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (“SBC”) template, the Uniform Glossary, and accompanying documents. Background The ACA requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to compile and provide to consumers an SBC that describes … Continue Reading

ACA Reporting Update – The Final Stretch

After months of preparation and multiple iterations of (sometimes conflicting) IRS guidance, health coverage providers and applicable large employers are nearing the end of the 2015 reporting season under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). By way of background, the ACA added new Sections 6055 and 6056 to the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”).  Code Section … Continue Reading

Big Employer Win in Wellness Program Case EEOC v. Flambeau

For the past couple of years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been challenging employer wellness programs for their alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The most recent EEOC challenge was in EEOC v. Flambeau, Inc., (No. 14-cv-638-bbc (December 31, 2015)).  In this case, the U.S. District Court for the … Continue Reading
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