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WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE ACA?

Speculation as to what will happen to the delivery of healthcare after the repeal of the ACA is understandably upsetting to employees, especially those who suffer from ongoing health concerns. Benefit and HR professionals are also anxious to get reliable guidance for planning ahead.  Consider reliable sources of information and avoid the what-ifs and rumors.

The following articles provide an overview of the House GOP proposed replacement plan, a market stabilization rule proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, and notes on the possible impact of IRS changes. These are good analyses of what seems to be taking shape in the federal government, but remember that they are evaluating proposed changes and possible impacts.

  • ACA Compliance Bulletin: House Republicans Release ACA Replacement Plan     #148865
  • ACA Compliance Bulletin: Market Stabilization Proposed Rule Issued     #148819
  • ACA Compliance Bulletin: IRS Change May Affect the Individual Mandate     #148720

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NON-ACA COMPLIANT HEALTH PLANS

Certain small group health plans and individual plans that do not comply with the ACA can remain in place, as long as they meet the requirements set by the Department of Health and Human Services in its transitional policy. Although this transition extension ends in 2018, the likely repeal of the ACA may make the issue of eventual compliance moot.

  • ACA Compliance Bulletin: HHS Extends Transition Policy for Non-ACA Compliant Health Plans     #101049

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HEALTH AND WELLNESS ASSISTANCE

This month’s articles touch on diverse topics, including some considerations for offering new benefits, and the ubiquitous predictions on how the ACA would be replaced. These are helpful for employee newsletter topics and similar communications.

If you are a small employer, you may want to investigate the benefits of introducing a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement, an option introduced only a couple of months ago through the 21st Century Cures Act.  See our January 2017 newsletter for more details and give us a call if you’d like to learn more.  We’ve provided a sample introduction letter for notifying employees of a new QSEHRA below.

  • Live Well, Work Well – March 2017:    #146269
    • Prepare for Tax Season
    • Workplace Stress Levels Dropping
    • Spring Break Travel Tips
  • Benefits Buzz, March 2017:     #146338
    • ACA and Employer Health Plans under President Trump
    • Block Grants: What You Need to Know
  • Benefits Insights: Autism Treatment Benefits     #148214
  • HealthLeaders Media FactFile: 30-Day Readmission Rates       #148426
  • Sample Employee Notice for QSEHRAs     #147995

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COMPLIANCE NOTES

The first of these two bulletins explains the IRS’ recent memorandum on the treatment of benefit payments from fixed indemnity health plans (coverage which pays a set dollar amount for specific services). The IRS reasoning also applies to similarly structured wellness programs.

The second bulletin notes the steps taken by the Trump administration to reduce federal agency regulations.

  • Compliance Bulletin: IRS Addresses Taxation of Fixed Indemnity Benefits     #148800
  • Compliance Bulletin: Trump Administration Aims to Reduce Regulatory Burden   #148322

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HUMAN RESOURCES UPDATES

Below are a few short pieces on topics of interest to HR professionals.

  • HR Brief: March 2017     #146367
    • Company Culture Might be More Important than You Think
    • DOL Overtime Rule Update
  • HR Insights: 5 Important Issues to Monitor in 2017     #148512
  • HR Insights: Top 10 Workplace Discrimination Claims     #135778

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STATE EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATES

Kentucky workers compensation and DC’s new paid leave law are topics in this month’s local employment law articles.

  • Kentucky Workers Compensation – Employer Responsibilities     #148407
  • Kentucky Workers Compensation – Employer Penalties     #148408
  • Kentucky Workers Compensation – Employee Eligibility     #148409
  • Kentucky Workers Compensation – Employee Benefits     #148410
  • Kentucky Workers Compensation – Claims Process     #148411
  • District of Columbia Approves Paid Leave Law     #148915

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