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Posted January 18th, 2018 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
Originally posted on October 13, 2017
 
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on October 12th instructing the Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Treasury (DOT), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), known as the tri-agencies, to review and potentially revise existing regulatory guidance. This includes:
 
Posted January 16th, 2018 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
In a letter sent to state Medicaid Directors on Thursday, the Trump Administration announced that it would allow states to impose work requirements to qualify for Medicaid. States will have the flexibility to design their work requirement eligibility structure, but they must submit details to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for approval. 
 
Posted January 11th, 2018 in Producer, Employers, Individuals
In response to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump in October of last year, the Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed new rules that aim to expand the availability of association health plans (AHPs) in the small group market.
Posted December 26th, 2017 in Individuals, Producers, Employers

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, also known as the Tax Act, was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The Tax Act makes several changes to the existing tax code, including the repeal of the Individual Mandate (kind of, sort of). The Individual Mandate was not literally repealed by the Tax Act, but the penalty for failing to have minimum essential coverage (e.g., health insurance) has been reduced to $0 starting on January 1, 2019. This is effectively the equivalent of repeal; however, the Individual Mandate will still be applicable for the 2017 and 2018 tax years. This change to the Individual Mandate has spurred numerous questions and/or speculations, including:

Posted December 19th, 2017 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
The state of Maryland passed a law known as the Contraceptive Equity Act which is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2018. The law requires fully insured health plans issued in the state of Maryland to cover male sterilization procedures (i.e. vasectomies) as preventive care without any copay, deductible or other cost-sharing requirements for the member. 
 
Posted December 12th, 2017 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
We haven’t even gotten through the 2018 open enrollment season yet, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has already proposed rules that would impact health insurance markets for 2019. Each year, CMS issues a Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters which explains various rules, inflation adjustments and other changes that will occur with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Posted November 14th, 2017 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
Congressional Republicans have shifted their focus from healthcare reform to tax reform. According to an overview which was released in late September, three key objectives of tax reform are to:
 
  1. Make the tax code simple, fair and easy to understand.
  2. Give American workers a pay raise by allowing them to keep more of their paychecks.
  3. Bring back trillions of dollars that are currently kept offshore to reinvest in the American economy.
Posted November 1st, 2017 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
As you may have heard, the Trump administration discontinued funding for the cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSR subsidies). Critics of this move believe it will create instability in the Exchange and individual marketplaces. Political efforts to restore the CSR subsidies are underway, but it appears Republican leadership has some demands as part of those restoration efforts.
Posted October 23rd, 2017 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

IRS Revenue Procedure 2017-58 was released last week. It includes a number of inflation adjustments to various benefits and other items for 2018 including the following for Consumer-Driven Accounts:

Posted October 10th, 2017 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most health insurance plans to cover in-network preventive care at 100%, including coverage for prescribed contraceptives available to women. This has sparked some controversy with organizations who have a religious objection to the use of contraceptives. The Obama administration addressed this controversy by doing the following:
 
  1. Exempted group health plans offered by churches and houses of worship from providing coverage for contraceptives if there was a religious objection.