Obamacare Marketplaces Must Accept Prepaid Debit Cards

According to its Final Regulations released just before the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is requiring insurance companies participating in the Obamacare Marketplaces to accept prepaid debit cards. Insurers also are being required to accept cashier's checks, money orders, paper checks and bank-account transfers, but not cash since most […]

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Another Obamacare Rule Out the Window on Eve of Marketplaces

A rule in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring reporting within one hour of all breaches of protected health information (PHI) during Health Insurance Marketplace activities has been dropped in the final regulations, to be published today in the Federal Register. "Because the one-hour incident response timeline has been included in all the data sharing […]

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IRS Issues Final Regs on Penalties for Not Buying Insurance Under Obamacare

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) yesterday issued final regulations regarding penalties under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for those who fail to maintain "minimum essential coverage." Those who fail to maintain minimum essential health insurance coverage in 2014 will pay a fine of $95 or 1 percent of houshold income, whichever is larger. The fine […]

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HHS Delays Approval of Health Insurance Plans to Be Sold by ACA Marketplaces

Citing vague references to technical issues ("providing additional flexibility and time to handle technical requests"), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has delayed approval of the health insurance policies to be sold by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces beginning Oct. 1. Originally slated for Sept. 5-9, the approval/signing process will now take […]

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Oregon, Now California, Can’t Meet Oct. 1 Obamacare E-Deadline

Oregon has already thrown in the electronic towel, and California is nanoseconds behind, as the Oct. 1 opening of the Obamacare Health Insurance Marketplaces looms just six weeks off. It'll be phone calls, in-person visits and pen and paper for Oregonians hoping to use the state's Marketplace to buy health insurance come Oct. 1, as […]

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Survey Finds Employers Plan to Continue Offering Health Insurance, But…

The Towers Watson 2013 Health Care Changes Ahead Survey, released today, found that some 98% of employers now offering health insurance plan to continue doing so as Obamacare kicks in, at least through 2014 and 2015. However, a majority of these employers also say they anticipate making moderate to significant changes to their health benefits […]

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HHS Awards Grants to Health Insurance Marketplace Navigators

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 Navigator grant applicants in federally facilitated and state partnership Health Insurance Marketplaces. These Navigator grantees and their staff will serve as in-person resources for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the […]

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Obamacare Employer Mandate on Hold, But Clock Still Ticking on Fee Amount

On July 2, the Obama administration announced that it would delay for one year the reporting requirements of the Shared Employer Responsibility ("play or pay") provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and along with it any penalties and assessments that would fall due under the provision. This delay saved businesses with 50 or more […]

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Obamacare Consumer Out-of-Pocket Limits Delayed Until 2015

A little-noticed answer to one of 137 "frequently asked questions about Affordable Care Act [ACA] implementation" posted on the website of the Department of Labor (DOL) since February has allowed insurers to delay implementation of caps on out-of-pocket expenses on their health insurance policies until 2015. The dollar limitations, originally scheduled to take effect on […]

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Obamacare ‘Physician Payments Sunshine Act’ Takes Effect Today

Beginning today, payments by drug and device manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals of $10 or more must be reported on an annual basis to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision — called the Physican Payments Sunshine Act — is designed to provide transparency to the relationship […]

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