ACA News and Publications

A complete archive of our ACA news and publications.

2019

ACA Pathways: California Expands Definition of Domestic Partner to Include Opposite Sex Partners

On July 30, 2019, Gov. Newsome signed into law SB 30, amending the California Family Code (Family Code) to extend domestic partnership benefits, rights, and privileges, to all registered opposite sex domestic partners. Read more

ACA Pathways: 2020 "Play or Pay" Affordability Percentage Released

On July 24, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Revenue Procedure 2019-29, announcing that the affordability percentage for 2020 plan years has decreased slightly to 9.78% from 9.86% in 2019. Read more

ACA Pathways: IRS Expands List of Preventive Care Services Under HSA Qualifying High Deductible Health Plans

On July 17, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2019-43, expanding the list of preventive care to include a range of chronic conditions that are now permitted to be provided by a high deductible health plan (HDHP) under Internal Revenue Code (Code) section 223 without a deductible, or with a deductible below the applicable minimum deductible (self-only or family) for an HDHP. Read more

ACA Pathways: Attention Self-Insured Plan Sponsors: PCORI Fee Payment Deadline Fast Approaching

June 21, 2019 – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains several temporary annual fees and payments that apply to group health plans and insurers. One such fee, the annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee is due by July 31, 2019. Read more

ACA Pathways: Regulations Establishing Two New HRAS Finalized

June 18, 2019 – New rules released by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) will permit employers to offer two new types of health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), an "Individual Coverage HRA" and an "Excepted Benefits HRA," beginning January 1, 2020, as long as certain requirements are satisfied. Read more

ACA Pathways: HHS Issues Proposed Rule on ACA Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Rules

June 12, 2019 – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a proposed rule to revise the Section 1557 nondiscrimination regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that were issued back in May 2016 (Final Rule). Read more

ACA Pathways: 2020 Out of Pocket Max Cost Sharing Limits Announced

April 23, 2019 – On April 19, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. This rule describes benefit and payment parameters under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that apply for the 2020 benefit year. Read more

ACA Pathways: DOL Publishes Q&A Regarding Court Decision Striking Down Association Health Plan Rules

April 03, 2019 – The Department of Labor (DOL) published a series of questions and answers (Q&As) intended to address questions that may arise in relation to last week's decision by the District Court to invalidate parts of the Trump administration's 2018 final rule on association health plans. On March 28, 2019, a federal judge ruled that parts of this rule were invalid... Read more

ACA Pathways: Trump Administration Backs Total ACA Repeal, CMS Releases 2019 Exchange Enrollment Statistics, Grandmothered Plans Extended - Again

March 26, 2019 – On March 25, 2019, the Trump Administration lent its weight in favor a December 2018 Texas District Court ruling currently being appealed that would invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA), by filing a brief with the 5th Circuit federal appeals court in New Orleans indicating that it backed full repeal of the ACA, not just portions of the law... Read more


2018

ACA Pathways: Texas District Court Rules ACA Unconstitutional

November 30, 2018 – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a ruling that has sent shockwaves across the country when it sided with Republican governors from the State of Texas and 19 other states that sued the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)... Read more

ACA Pathways: IRS Delays Deadline for Furnishing Forms 1095- B&C to Employees

November 30, 2018 – The IRS has released Notice 2018-94, extending the due date for insurers, self-insured employers, other providers of minimum essential coverage and employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees... Read more

ACA Pathways: Rule Proposed to Expand the Use of HRAs

October 31, 2018 – The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments) recently issued a proposed rule that would expand the usability of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Read more

ACA Pathways: Employer Reporting Finalized

October 19, 2018 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released final 2018 forms for reporting under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Sections 6055 and 6056. Final instructions for 2018 were also released. Read more

ACA Pathways: Attention Plan Sponsors of Fully Insured Health Plans: How To Handle MLR Rebates

September 05, 2018 – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established medical loss ratio (MLR) rules to help control health care coverage costs and ensure that enrollees receive value for their premium dollars. Read more

ACA Pathways: 2018 ACA Employer Reporting Draft Forms Released

July 26, 2018 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released draft 2018 forms for reporting under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Sections 6055 and 6056. The draft 2018 forms are substantially similar to the final 2017 versions. Read more

ACA Pathways: DOL Issues New Rules Expanding Access To Association Health Plans

June 26, 2018 – On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule intended to lower the costs of health insurance for small businesses and self-employed individuals by providing options for small employers and self-employed businesses to join together as a single group to purchase health insurance in the large group market or to self-insure. Read more

ACA Pathways: Attention Self-Insured Plan Sponsors: PCORI Fee Payment Deadline Fast Approaching

June 20, 2018 – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains several temporary annual fees and payments that apply to group health plans and insurers. One such fee, the annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee is due by July 31, 2018. Read more

ACA Pathways: 2019 Play Or Pay Affordability Percentage Increased To 9.86 Percent

May 31, 2018 – The IRS recently announced that the affordability percentage for plan years beginning in 2019 has increased to 9.86 percent from 9.56 percent in 2018. Read more

ACA Pathways: 2019 Out Of Pocket Maximum Cost Sharing Limits

April 23, 2018 – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released its final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019. This final rule describes benefit and payment parameters under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that apply for the 2019 benefit year. Read more

ACA Pathways: Cadillac Tax Delayed and Certain Other ACA Taxes Suspended

January 24, 2018 – On January 22, 2018, the President signed a short-term spending bill into law to reopen and fund the federal government through February 8, 2018. Attached to the spending bill were delays or suspensions on three taxes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)- the Cadillac Tax, the Health Insurance Provider Fee, and the tax on medical devices. Read more


2017

ACA Pathways: IRS Delays Deadline For Furnishing Form 1095-C To Employees

December 29, 2017 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Notice 2018-06, along with Informational Release 2017-209, extending the due date for insurers, self-insured employers, other providers of minimum essential coverage and employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (Applicable Large Employer, or ALE) to provide Form 1095-B ("Health Coverage") and/or Form 1095-C ("Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage") to applicable individuals, from January 31, 2018 to March 2, 2018. Read more

ACA Pathways: DOL Delays New Requirements For Disability Benefit Claims

December 05, 2017 – The Department of Labor (DOL) has delayed the effective date of a final rule until April 1, 2018 to strengthen the claims and appeals requirements for disability benefit plans that are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The rule, released by the DOL on December 16, 2016, had initially been scheduled to apply to claims filed on or after January 1, 2018. Read more

ACA Pathways: IRS Issues Pay or Play Enforcement Guidance

November 10, 2017 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently updated its Questions and Answers (Q&As) on the employer shared responsibility rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to include information on enforcement. Read more

ACA Pathways: President Trump Signs Executive Order Designed To Revamp ACA Rules

October 13, 2017 – On Oct. 12, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to change certain rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The order would relax regulations on association health plans, which could allow individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance policies across state lines and avoid certain ACA requirements. Read more

ACA Pathways: 2017 Employer Reporting Finalized

October 11, 2017 – On September 28, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final 2017 forms for reporting under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Sections 6055 and 6056. Final instructions for 2017 were released in early October. Read more

ACA Pathways: Contraceptive Coverage Requirement Scaled Back, HIPAA Certification Rules Withdrawn

October 09, 2017 – On October 6, 2017, the Trump Administration issued new rules that will allow more employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women by claiming religious or moral objections. Read more

ACA Pathways: Play or Pay Mandates, Employer Reporting, and Health Insurance Fee

August 16, 2017 – One consequence of this year's several attempts to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is that it has generated much confusion as to whether the ACA individual and employer mandates and related reporting requirements continue to apply. Read more

ACA Pathways: Efforts To Replace and Repeal ACA Fall Short In U.S. Senate

July 31, 2017 – Early on the morning of July 28th, members of the U.S. Senate voted 49-51 to reject a "skinny" version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called the Health Care Freedom Act. Read more

ACA Pathways: Attention Self-insured Plan Sponsors: PCORI Fee Payment Deadline Is Fast Approaching.

June 27, 2017 – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains several temporary annual fees and payments that apply to group health plans and insurers. One such fee, the annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee is due by July 31, 2017. Read more

ACA Pathways: 2018 Play or Pay Affordability Percentage Released

May 12, 2017 – The IRS recently announced that the affordability percentage for 2018 plan years has decreased to 9.56% from 9.69% for 2017 plan years. Read more

ACA Pathways: ACA Replacement Bill Passed by U.S. House of Representatives; Advances to the Senate

May 05, 2017 – On Thursday, May 4th, after seven years of debate, and weeks of scrambling to secure the votes needed for passage, the U.S. House of Representatives finally passed its latest version of the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), the signature legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Read more

ACA Pathways: Market Stabilization Final Rule Issued

April 19, 2017 - On April 14, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a market stabilization final rule under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The final rule includes new reforms intended to help lower premiums, stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets and increase choices for the 2018 plan year. Read more

ACA Pathways: Obamacare Remains Law of the Land (For Now)

March 27, 2017 - On Friday March 24, 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the plug on the American Health Care Act, the Republican-sponsored legislation that would partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), after conceding he did not have enough votes to ensure the bill's passage before the whole House of Representatives. Read more

ACA Pathways: ACA Repeal Starts Now... What You Need To Know

March 09, 2017 - Earlier this week, Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives issued two bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the budget reconciliation process. These bills, which were issued by the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, are collectively known as the American Health Care Act." Read more

ACA Pathways: ACA Repeal Efforts Off to a Blazing Start

January 24, 2017 - Within hours after being sworn in as President of the United States, on January 20, 2017, Donald Trump issued his first Executive Order, directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others in the federal government with authorities and responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to take steps to undo the ACA to the "maximum extent permitted by law." Read more

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