States Win Big Refunds over Obamacare Tax for Medicaid

A federal judge in North Texas has handed a group of states hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds from an Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) program known as the Health Insurance Providers Fee, which collects Medicaid taxes from the states to help fund Obamacare. A federal appeal is almost a certainty. The 2015 […]

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CMS to Reimburse New York, Minnesota for Health Care Expenses

New York and Minnesota, the only two states to establish Basic Health Programs (BHPs) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will now receive promised federal funding after suing the Trump administration. Basic Health Programs are state-operated insurance providers for residents¬†earning between 138 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level — the population earning […]

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When It Comes to Short-Term Health Plans, Some States Just Say No

While the Trump administration has rolled out a plan to make available short-term health insurance policies, up from the current 90 days to 12 months in duration, some states have already said they don’t want any part of it. Since the plans don’t have to include all the essential health benefits (EHBs) of the Affordable […]

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Maine Receives Waiver to Establish ACA Reinsurance Plan

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has issued a Section 1332 Waiver to Maine to allow the state to set up a reinsurance plan to help pay the medical costs of residents with certain qualifying conditions, thus helping lower the health insurance premiums of all consumers in Maine. Gov. Paul LePage has subsequently […]

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Short-Term Health Plans to Be Offered Beginning in October

The departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL) and the Treasury (DOT) today issued a final rule allowing for the sale and renewal of short-term, limited-duration health plans that cover longer periods than the previous maximum period of less than three months. Such coverage can now cover an initial period of less than […]

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New York Leads Attorney General Coalition Fighting AHPs

Twelve “blue state” attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, are taking the Trump administration to court over its final rule allowing the creation of newly invigorated Association Health Plans (AHPs). The coalition is targeting a final rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL), which loosens and expands the definition of […]

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Three States Join Challenge to Constitutionality of Obamacare

With the addition of North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin this week, the lawsuit against the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) is now being waged in Texas — where the legal action originated — by a combined 23 states. The crux of the lawsuit, filed by the Texas attorney general, is […]

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CMS Cuts Obamacare Navigator Funding from $36M to $10M

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Navigator program, which funds groups and individuals to help walk people through the Obamacare sign-up process, is being cut financially once again by the Trump administration, this time from $36 million to $10 million. In 2017, funding stood at $63 million. Regardless of the federal outlay, the Navigator program has […]

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ACA Risk-Adjusted Payments Halted after Judge’s Ruling

UPDATE: On Tuesday, July 24, the Trump administration restored the risk-adjusted payments to prevent “chaos” in the health insurance market. Risk-adjusted payments, a principal component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) that seeks to level the playing field among insurers, have been put on hold by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services […]

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IRS Preparing to Send 2016 Obamacare Penalty Notices

Even as many applicable large employers (ALEs) grapple with Employer Shared Responsibility Penalty (ESRP) letters from 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is preparing to issue more such letters — known as Letter 226-J — for 2015, with still more coming later this year for 2016. Still down the road later this year, the agency […]

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