HHS Delays Employer Requirement to Provide Health Insurance Exchange Notices

Originally set as March 1 this year, the deadline for all employers to inform their workforces about how the new health insurance exchanges will operate has been delayed, with no new date offered. The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department fact sheet explaining the delay indicates it would be "will coordinate[d] with the open enrollment period […]

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Health Insurance Exchanges Relabeled as ‘Marketplaces’

In the past week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun referring to the health insurance exchanges mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as "marketplaces." Fans of PPACA say the renaming was done to ease the public's understanding of what the exchanges are for (to buy health insurance), […]

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The HIPAA/HITECH Megarule Published and in Effect March 26

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) moved forward today to strengthen the privacy and security protections for health information established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  The final omnibus rule, published today in the Federal Register, greatly enhances a patient’s privacy protections, provides individuals new rights to […]

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HHS Secretary Proposes Rule to Ease Access to Health Insurance

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has released a proposed rule that promotes consistent policies and processes for eligibility notices and appeals in Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Exchanges and gives states more flexibility when operating their Medicaid programs.  “Before the health care law was passed, millions of Americans were […]

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HHS Extends Deadline on States’ Decision on Setting up Health Insurance Exchanges

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which was under a deadline of Jan. 1, 2013, to determine if the states were ready to set up health insurance exchanges as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), but it has extended the deadline until Feb. 15. Since only 18 states and […]

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HHS Seeking Public Commentary on Proposed Essential Health Benefits Rule

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking public commentary through Dec. 26, 2012, on a proposed rule covering Essential Health Benefits (EHB) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). EHB define what health insurance plans must offer under PPACA to be sold through state and federal exchanges, which will begin […]

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HHS Moves to Implement Obamacare With New Guidance

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Nov. 20 reaffirmed key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aiming to ensure that all Americans will be able to get at least minimal health care insurance starting in 2014. The Obama administration yesterday issued: A proposed rule that, beginning in 2014, […]

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SBCs Must Be Issued on First Day of Open Enrollment Starting Sept. 23, 2012

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires that employers begin issuing what's called a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) on the first day of the company's open enrollment period for group health insurance commencing on or after Sept. 23, 2012.  Thus if a company's open enrollment period runs from Nov. 1 to […]

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Health Insurance Rebates Are Largely Taxable at Work

Under the terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010, medical insurers who fail to devote 80 percent of premiums received on health care expenses (86 percent in the large group market) must pay annual rebates, with the first set of rebates due this Aug. 1. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) […]

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HHS Sets Up a Tool to Determine If Your Health Insurer Owes Policyholders a Rebate

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has introduced an online tool to determine if your health insurer owes you a rebate come Aug. 1, 2012, based on that company's compliance with mandated medical loss ratio (MLR) standards under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The MLR standard for health care insurance […]

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