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HHS Issues Request for Information on ACA

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On June 12, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for information (RFI) on ways the regulatory burdens imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could be reduced and at the same time improve health care options.
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Categories: Health Care Reform | Tags: HHS , ACA

DOL Updates Various Model Notices

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The Department of Labor (DOL) has extended the effective date of various notices.
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Categories: Health Care Reform, Compliance, Health Care in General | Tags: CHIPRA , DOL , COBRA , Exchange , Model Notice

ECFC Sends Letter to Senate Leadership

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June 9, 2017, the Employer Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC) signed on with more than 50 groups and sent a letter to ask the Senate leadership to help strengthen Americans’ health insurance coverage options, improve the quality of health care, and take critical action to apply downward pressure on the real drivers of health care costs, without imposing new taxes on the health benefits of hard-working taxpayers.
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Categories: Health Care Reform, Health Care in General | Tags: ECFC , ACA , Senate , Employer-based
The IRS recently released an information letter clarifying the definition of a high deductible health plan (HDHP) for purposes of HSA eligibility. In the letter, the IRS explained that to qualify as an HDHP, a medical insurance plan (i) must satisfy certain minimum annual deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expense requirements and (ii) cannot provide any benefits below the minimum annual deductible, other than preventive care benefits.
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Categories: Health Care Reform, Compliance, Health Care in General | Tags: HSA , HDHP , IRS , health savings account , high deductible health plan , Internal Revenue Service , information letter
The DOL recently issued a Field Assistance Bulletin and FAQ guidance confirming that, after a delay from April 10, 2017, the new fiduciary rules and related prohibited transaction exemptions will become effective on June 9, 2017, with phased implementation through January 1, 2018.
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Categories: Compliance | Tags: DOL , Department of Labor , Field Assistance Bulletin , FAQ , fiduciary rules , fiduciary
Due to lower-than-expected participation, CMS has announced that it will propose a rule to change the process that small employers use to purchase health plans through the Federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Program.
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Categories: Health Care Reform, Health Care in General | Tags: SHOP , FF-SHOP , Small Business Health Options Program , CMS , Small Employer , Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
The IRS Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) recently issued an advice memorandum addressing certain employee benefit arrangements that purport to provide employees with tax-free compensation through combination self-funded health plans and wellness plans. Promoters generally entice employers by claiming that payments made to employees under such arrangements are also not subject to employment taxes, such as FICA and FUTA. In the memorandum, the OCC provides two examples of such arrangements and ex...
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Categories: Benefits in General, Health Care in General | Tags: Self-funded health plan , wellness plan , IRS , Internal Revenue Service , benefits , tax , wellness
The IRS has released 2018 key indexing adjustments used under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This revenue procedure is effective for taxable years and plan years beginning after December 31, 2017.
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Categories: Benefits in General, Health Care Reform, Compliance | Tags: ACA , Affordability , IRS , Tax Credits

OCR Announces $2.5 Million HIPAA Settlement

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The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a $2.5 million settlement with a wireless health services provider, CardioNet, for violations of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
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Categories: Compliance, Health Care in General | Tags: OCR , Office for Civil Rights , Health and Human Services , DHHS , CardioNet , settlement , HIPAA , Privacy , Security , mobile device

CRS Releases Report on AHCA

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Last week, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was passed on May 4, 2017 by the U.S. House of Representatives.
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Categories: Health Care Reform | Tags: AHCA , American Health Care Act , CRS , Congressional Research Service , HR 1628 , H.R. 1628 , health care reform , repeal and replace
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