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Posted December 17th, 2018 in Employers, Producers, Individuals

Last Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) unconstitutional.

The judge’s decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by 20 Republican state attorneys general earlier this year. The lawsuit was filed after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act zeroed out the Individual Mandate penalty. The lawsuit claimed the Individual Mandate was so essential to Obamacare, and without it, all of Obamacare must go. The judge agreed.

Posted December 11th, 2018 in Producers, Individuals

Illinois state legislators passed a law last month which makes several changes to short-term medical (STM) plans. The most significant change limits the maximum duration of coverage to periods that are less than 181 days (i.e. 180 days). This change applies as of November 27, 2018, which is the date the law was enacted. The immediate effective date did not provide a window of time for insurance carriers to adjust their STM plans to the shorter durations of coverage.

Posted November 16th, 2018 in Employers, Producers, Individuals

On November 15th, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2018-57 which includes inflation adjustments for certain employee benefit programs and other items. 

Posted October 17th, 2018 in Producers, Individuals

Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adjusts the premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare beneficiaries. Below is a summary of the 2019 costs.

Premiums

Part A: Most individuals don't have to pay a premium for Part A, however, those that do will generally have to pay $437 per month in 2019. This is an increase from $422 in 2018.
 

Posted September 20th, 2018 in Employers, Producers, Individuals

2018 ACA Reporting Requirements

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released draft versions of the forms and instructions for the 2018 reporting year. The reporting, which is required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), helps the IRS enforce the Individual Mandate, Employer Mandate and verify subsidy eligibility for individuals who obtain coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Posted September 11th, 2018 in Employers, Producers, Individuals

The midterm elections will be held on November 6, 2018, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will surely be a hot topic on campaign trails. Republicans are expected to continue down a path of conveying their belief that the ACA is ineffective and has driven up healthcare costs. Democrats are expected to point out consumer protections that are included in the ACA, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits.

Posted September 4th, 2018 in Employers, Producers, Individuals

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has revised its frequently asked questions (FAQ) information pertaining to the Employer Mandate. More specifically, the IRS has confirmed that an employer who provides coverage through an association health plan (AHP) has no relevance to the Employer Mandate. An employer isn’t dragged into the Employer Mandate requirements simply because they provide coverage through an AHP. Only employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees in the prior calendar year will be subject to the Employer Mandate. Question and answer #18 from the FAQ is shown below.

Posted August 7th, 2018 in Producers, Individuals

Last week, the Trump administration issued final rules which extend the maximum duration of short-term medical plans (STM plans). STM plans can now have an initial coverage period just shy of one year (364 days). Taking into account renewals, STM plans can have a maximum duration of up to 36 months.

Posted August 2nd, 2018 in Employers, Producers, Individuals

Last week, the House of Representatives (House) passed two bills which would expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and make other changes to the healthcare industry. Below is a summary of key HSA provisions included:

HR 6311

Posted June 19th, 2018 in Employers, Producers, Individuals

A lawsuit contesting the legality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is starting to gain a lot of attention. Last December, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law. Part of this law made the penalty under the Individual Mandate $0 starting in 2019. Technically the Individual Mandate is still in place, but there will no longer be any penalty under federal law for failing to health insurance.