What We Hear.

Recent articles and opinion pieces from national and trade media resources on the state of Healthcare in America.


  • Trump Now Says Replacing the ACA can Wait Until After the 2020 Election

    04/02/2019
    President Trump abruptly halted a push he began just last week to replace the Affordable Care Act. He said the issue will take center stage in his re-election campaign.
    Bloomberg »

  • Court Blocks New Rules Governing Association Health Plans (AHP)

    03/28/2019
    U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled that President Trump’s AHP initiative, which was intended as a cheaper alternative to Obamacare, violates the ACA.
    Bloomberg »

  • Trump Administration: Repeal Entire Affordable Care Act

    03/26/2019
    In a significant shift, the Trump Administration says the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be struck down in the courts.
    NPR »

  • Senator Schumer pushes for Senate Vote on ACA Case

    12/16/2018
    However, Senate GOP leaders are unlikely to allow a vote to take place. “We’re going to fight this tooth and nail,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday.
    Politico »

  • Short-term Health Insurance? Up to 3 Years Under New Trump Policy

    08/01/2018
    Consumers may soon have access to less expensive health insurance providing fewer benefits under a Trump administration rule intended to skirt requirements of the ACA.
    The New York Times »

  • 12 State Attorneys General Sue to Block Association Health Plans Rule

    07/27/2018
    The Trump administration says the regulation would help small businesses and self-employed workers afford insurance, but 12 Democratic state attorneys general contend that the plans would undermine patient protections put in place by the ACA.
    Kaiser Health News »

  • Trump Administration Halts Billions in ACA Insurance Payments

    07/07/2018
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers programs under the Affordable Care Act, said the action affects $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments.
    Reuters »

  • Trump Officials Roll Out New Rule for Small Business Health Insurance Plans

    06/18/2018
    The final rule governing association health plans allows small businesses and the self-employed to band together based on their industry or location and buy health insurance.
    CNN »

What We Know.

Webinars, articles and eAlerts with actionable information on the ACA and other current laws and regulations.


District Courts Block New Rules on Exemptions to ACA Birth Control Mandate

01/14/2019 — On January 14, 2019, a Pennsylvania federal district court judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking two recently-issued final regulations that had allowed for broader exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate. The judge’s decision came one day after a district court judge in California issued an order granting a preliminary injunction halting the same ACA regulations from taking effect in 13 states and the District of Columbia.


Federal Judge in Texas Rules Affordable Care Act is Unconstitutional

12/14/2018 — The opinion by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor overturns all of the sprawling law nationwide.
Washington Post »


Agencies Release Final ACA Contraceptive Exemption Regulation for Religious Organizations

11/08/2018 — This PDF describes exemptions and accommodations for coverage of certain services.
BenefitsLink.com »


DOL Issues Proposed Regulation to Expand HRA and QSEHRA Flexibility

10/24/2018 — The newly proposed regulation would allow HRAs to reimburse premiums in the individual market.
FederalRegister.gov »


CMS Issues Final Regulation on Short-term Health Insurance

08/01/2018 — A final rule was issued to help Americans struggling to afford health coverage find new, more affordable options. The rule allows for the sale and renewal of short-term, limited-duration plans that cover longer periods than before.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services »


“Skinny” Repeal Would Have Boosted Uninsured by 16M

07/27/2017 — CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have prepared an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1628, the Healthcare Freedom Act of 2017.
CBO.gov »


Healthcare Reform
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The Affordable Care Act Presents:

The Walking Dead

The ACA is dying. What will replace it? Below are provisions of the
AHCA bill that is still in deliberations.


 
ACA Provision Likely Dead
Cadillac Tax
Likely Dead
The new AHCA bill does not repeal this 40% excise tax on "high-cost" coverage, but instead, the AHCA extends its effective date until 2026. This is likely dead because, even if the AHCA passes, there is strong bipartisan support to repeal this ACA provision.
ACA Provision Still Alive
Dependent Coverage to Age 26
Still Breathing
This popular provision was retained in the AHCA.
ACA Provision Likely Dead
Employer Mandate/ Pay or Play
Likely Dead
AHCA bill repeals employer tax for not offering affordable, adequate coverage to full-time employees.
ACA Provision in Limbo
Foreign Drug Trade
In Limbo
To lower costs and increase consumerism, this change would open up the drug market to foreign competition if proven safe and reliable. This was not included in the AHCA, but it's part of the larger Republican vision for an ACA replacement.
ACA Provision in Limbo
Free Market Across State Lines
In Limbo
In an effort to increase competition and lower insurance costs, this change would allow vendors to offer health insurance in any state if the plan complies with state laws. This was not included in the AHCA, but it's part of the larger Republican vision for an ACA replacement.
ACA Provision Likely Dead
Increased Medicare Taxes on High-earners
Likely Dead
Taxes on high-income individuals repealed by AHCA bill.
ACA Provision Transformed
Individual Mandate
Likely Transformed
AHCA bill repeals tax on individuals not enrolled in healthcare coverage, but it adds a "continuous coverage" requirement - 30% premium tax for lapses of coverage.
ACA Provision Transformed
Information Reporting
Likely Transformed
New reporting will likely be required under the AHCA that will likely be easier for employers than completing Forms 1094-C/1095-C.
ACA Provision Transformed
Medicaid Expansion
Likely Transformed
Medicaid will likely change to a per-capita system with an option to allow states to choose a block grant rather than a per-capita cap. Additionally, the AHCA would allow states to impose a work requirement on nondisabled, nonelderly, non-pregnant adults as a condition of Medicaid coverage.
ACA Provision Likely Dead
Medical Device Tax
Likely Dead
Taxes on medical device manufacturers repealed by AHCA bill.
ACA Provision Still Alive
No-cost Preventive Services
Still Breathing
AHCA bill does not change the ACA requirement for individual and group plans to cover preventive benefits, such as contraception and cancer screenings, with no cost sharing.
ACA Provision Likely Dead
Nondiscrimination Requirements for Fully-insured Plans
Likely Dead
Since guidance or regulations prohibiting fully-insured sponsors from favoring highly-compensated employees have not yet been drafted by the Treasury, it is unlikely to go into effect.
ACA Provision Still Alive
Pre-existing Condition Coverage
Still Breathing
This popular provision was retained in the AHCA.
ACA Provision Still Alive
Premium Subsidies on Exchanges
Still Breathing
AHCA bill repeals premium and cost-sharing subsidies over time by 2020, but adds age-based refundable tax credits (not as closely tied to income).
ACA Provision in Limbo
Price Transparency
In Limbo
Making it easier for individuals to shop around for their medical care, this change would require price transparency of all doctors, clinics and hospitals. This was not included in the AHCA, but it's part of the larger Republican vision for an ACA replacement.
ACA Provision Still Alive
Prohibited 90-day Waiting Period
Still Breathing
This provision was retained in the AHCA.
ACA Provision Still Alive
Prohibited Lifetime & Annual Limits on Essential Health Benefits
Still Breathing
Beginning in 2018 through 2019, states will be able to define EHBs with respect to the allocation of premium tax credits.
ACA Provision Still Alive
Prohibited Lifetime & Annual Limits on Essential Health Benefits
Still Breathing
This provision was retained in the AHCA.
New ACA Provision
Proposed Expanded Health Savings Accounts
Just Born
AHCA bill nearly doubles $ individuals can contribute to accounts and broadens how funds can be used.
ACA Provision Likely Dead
Proposed Form 5500 ACA Info Requirements
Likely Dead
Rules (under ERISA) requiring additional healthcare information on Form 5500 filings, including ACA-related information, and eliminating small employer filing exemption were never finalized, thus it is unlikely to be issued under current DOL.
ACA Provision Likely Dead
Proposed Opt-out Arrangement Rules
Likely Dead
Final regulations requiring the value of opt-out payments under non-compliant opt-out arrangements be added to the cost of coverage for determining the affordability of coverage under the ACA were delayed in December 2016, and unlikely to be issued under current Treasury.

ACA(now) News on Washington

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