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Industry News
Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidy Mechanism in Kin ...

In a long-awaited opinion published just this morning, a six-justice majority of the United States Supreme Court resolved the controversy regarding whether premium subsidies can be made available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through state exchanges (or "marketplaces") established by the Federal government, rather than the states themselves.

If the Court ruled that this was not allowable under the terms of the ACA, the law itself would have been in peril, with a great deal of uncertainty as to what Congress would do in response. What impact this might have had on employee benefits in general is unknown, and, since the Court upheld the subsidy scheme, that concern is now moot.

In short, we are in a similar place we were the last time the Court reviewed the ACA in 2012: Nothing, in the end, has changed.

A copy of the opinion is available here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-114_qol1.pdf

Blog
HSA Guru Wonders If HHS Is Trying To Hurt HSAs ...

Roy Ramthun, widely known in the industry as the source-of-all-knowledge within the George W. Bush administration regarding health savings accounts (“HSAs”), has sounded an alarm regarding recent rules published by the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) regarding 2017 plan limits and coverage for the various “metal tier” plans under the ACA.

Essentially, the rule contains the following provisions that will directly affect the availability of HSA-eligible health plans in 2017:

  • “Bronze” plans must have a minimum $6,650 deductible ($100 above the maximum HSA-eligible deductible of $6,550 for 2017)
  • “Gold” plans must have a deductible of $1,250 ($50 below the minimum HSA-eligible deductible for 2017)
  • “Bronze” and “silver” plans must have OOP limits of $7,150 ($600 above the 2017 OOP limit for HSA-eligibility)
  • Plans must require first-dollar coverage for services beyond just “preventive care” (e.g., primary-care visits, specialty-care visits, mental-health and substance-use-disorder outpatient services, urgent-care visits, and drug benefits) with no exceptions made for HSA-eligible plans

More information and Ramthun’s commentary is here.

The good news: There is still plenty of time to get these rules adjusted so that millions of HSA accountholders won’t be left out in the cold. To that end, the American Bankers Association’s “HSA Council” (on whose board Ameriflex sits) is lobbying HHS and others to educate them on the (hopefully) unintended negative consequences of the rule for HSAs. Stay tuned.

Company News
Ameriflex General Counsel Roger Abramson will Spea ...

This Thursday, Roger Abramson, General Counsel for Ameriflex, will speak about some of the top compliance concerns for employers at the 2016 IHC Forum & Expo.

During session 406, Roger and a panel of other legal experts will discuss key compliance pitfalls that employers should be wary of in 2016 and beyond. Topics will include wellness and employee benefits, the ACA, HIPAA, ADA, ERISA, and more.

The session will take place this Thursday, May 26 at 10:15 a.m.

Roger regularly communicates compliance and legislative updates on the Ameriflex blog. Click here to read his most recent posts.