Nov 15, 2013

Rewind on ACA: If You Like Your Current Health Plan, You Can Keep It For Now – If The Insurance Company Lets You

By: Laura Miller Andrew Today, President Obama announced that individuals and small businesses who currently have health insurance policies that do not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act that have received or will be receiving cancellation notices because of ACA requirements, can renew the policies for another year if they meet certain conditions. The coverage had to be in effect on October 1, 2013 and the health insurance issuer must send a notice to all individuals and small businesses that received (or are scheduled to receive) a cancellation or termination notice. This notice must include specific information including: (1)  any… Read more

Oct 29, 2013

Opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace Focuses Employees on Health Care

By Laura Miller Andrew The opening of the health insurance marketplace on October 1, 2013, has helped employees focus on their own health care coverage.   Health care coverage has moved front and center, with the press publicizing the new marketplace exchanges, and politicians debating health care reform funding.  As employers enter the “open enrollment” process for their group health plans, employees are much more engaged in learning about their health care plans and the costs associated with that coverage. The health coverage provided through employer sponsored plans is often superior to the health coverage options offered on the exchange. However, employees may pay more for… Read more

Oct 24, 2013 is Sick- Open Enrollment Period Extended

By Laura Miller Andrew As covered extensively in the media,, the online Marketplace for health care coverage under PPACA is not feeling well. After weeks of frustration,  President Obama conceded that the website is not working as intended, making it very difficult for the average consumer to sign up for a health care policy. Therefore, it was announced today that the open enrollment period will be extended from October 1st to March 31st. Under PPACA, most individuals  who are not covered by health insurance for three months or longer face a financial penalty. In order for the insurance to take effect,… Read more

Jul 10, 2013

IRS Releases Additional Guidance on Postponement of “Play or Pay”

Posted by: Kate Bongiovanni As mentioned in our Health Care blog posts from last week, employers will now have an additional year – until 2015 – to begin complying with the mandatory reporting obligations and play or pay provisions of PPACA. Yesterday, the IRS released formal guidance regarding this transitional relief. Our Client Alert addressing this guidance can be accessed here. Despite the transitional relief, it appears that employers may still need to perform the “minimum value” analysis (i.e., the 60% test) for their group health plans for the 2014 plan year. Please stay tuned – we will keep you… Read more

Jul 4, 2013

PPACA “Play or Pay” Postponed: Now What?

As posted here yesterday and explained in our client alert, President Obama announced that the employer mandate, the “Play or Pay” requirement, has been postponed until 2015. While many employers breathed a sigh of relief, employers should not stop their preparations for PPACA. The announcement stated that the state exchanges will go forward as planned as well as other PPACA requirements. Employers will still have responsibilities under PPACA. With the postponement of the employer mandate, employers will now have time to carefully look at the design of their group health plans, and will also be able to focus on what… Read more

Jul 3, 2013

Breaking News: PPACA’s Employer Mandate Postponed Until 2015

Today, the Obama administration delayed a key requirement under PPACA. The employer mandate, the requirement for large employers to “Play or Pay” will be postponed until 2015. This means that employers will not be required to either (1) provide health coverage that is “affordable” and meets certain minimum requirements for its employees, or (2) pay a penalty for not providing such coverage. The administration cited the need to simplify reporting requirements and give businesses more time to adapt their health plans. However, please note that the requirement to have individual health coverage has not been postponed, and the new exchanges… Read more

Jun 25, 2013

Does Your Wellness Program Make the Grade?

Authored by: Kate Bongiovanni On June 3, 2013, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor released final regulations implementing the changes to employer-sponsored wellness programs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”).  The final regulations adopt the distinction between the following types of wellness programs: Participatory Wellness Programs – wellness programs that do not condition a reward on an individual satisfying a health standard (or do not provide a reward at all) (e.g., reimbursements for fitness center membership costs); and Health-Contingent Wellness Programs – wellness programs that require an individual to satisfy a standard related… Read more

Jun 25, 2013

Health Care Reform Forces Employers to ‘Play or Pay’

 Authored by Laura Miller Andrew  When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, many employers took a “wait and see” approach to compliance. Employers received a wake-up call June 28 when the Supreme Court upheld the major elements of PPACA. Time is almost up for employers, as the “Play or Pay” requirements become effective in 2014.  Following are steps employers can take now to prepare: – Determine if your company is required to “Play or Pay.”  As of Jan. 1, 2014, PPACA requires “applicable large employers” to offer “minimal essential coverage” to 95 percent of their full-time employees… Read more