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December 13, 2012

In This Issue
Medicaid Expansion: Itís All or Nothing
Fee Hidden in PPACA Regulations
CBO Didnít Consider Federally Facilitated Exchange Consumers Not Getting Tax Subsidies
Exchange Update
Health Insurance Sales Tax
Register for Our December 19 Compliance Corner Webinar
This Week in Washington
What We're Reading
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Medicaid Expansion: Itís All or Nothing
On Monday, HHS announced that states must commit to fully expanding their Medicaid programs if they are to receive federal funding as laid out in PPACA. Medicaid currently covers about 60% of low-income and disabled Americans. PPACA calls for an expansion of Medicaid beginning in 2014 to cover 133% of people above the poverty line (about $15,400 for an individual)... Read More
Fee Hidden in PPACA Regulations
Surprise! A $63-per-person a year fee was buried within the new PPACA regulations. This fee, to be charged to health insurance plans beginning in 2014, is going to finance the new law’s risk-adjustment mechanisms. The new law’s reinsurance provisions are an attempt to cushion the cost of pre-existing conditions and the new community-rating requirements that will impact all individual and small-group health insurance markets beginning next year... Read More
CBO Didnít Consider Federally Facilitated Exchange Consumers Not Getting Tax Subsidies
One of the most frequent questions we get about PPACA is: Will states that don’t operate their own exchanges still be eligible for exchange-based individual market subsidies? The short answer to this question is yes, because even though there is a lawsuit challenging the ability of the federal government to make such disbursements, the Obama Administration believes it has the authority to give out subsidies in federally facilitated exchanges and it will begin doing so next year before the challenge lawsuit can make its way through the courts... Read More
Exchange Update
The exchange deadline is fast approaching. States must decide by tomorrow, December 14, if they are going to create their own state-based exchange. The original deadline of November 16 had been pushed back since many states were waiting on the outcome of the presidential election to make their final decision... Read More
Health Insurance Sales Tax
The new $63ish a year fee to fund PPACA’s risk-adjustment mechanisms is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. A recent state-by-state analysis of the new health insurance tax of the PPACA titled “Annual Tax on Insurers Allocated by State” conducted by AHIP’s Oliver Wyman, finds that the new national premium tax that begins in 2014 will also cause the cost of healthcare coverage for consumer and employers to rise in all 50 states. This study builds upon a report published in 2011 that provides national estimates for the impact of the health tax on consumers... Read More
Register for Our December 19 Compliance Corner Webinar
With all the changes looming in 2014, millions of American employers are carefully considering their options when it comes to providing group health insurance coverage. Many employers will be subject to employer responsibility requirements and penalties, some will be required to offer coverage to employees that they’ve never extended medical benefits to before, and virtually all employers have questions about the new standards for counting employees and the premium tax credit subsidies that will be available to qualified individuals who buy coverage through the new health insurance exchanges... Read More
This Week in Washington

Besides fiscal cliff nail-biting and nervous pacing as we await state decisions on exchanges and Medicaid, there are a few other things going on around these parts. Today, the Employee Benefit Research Institute holds its 71st biannual policy forum titled “'Post' Script: What’s Next for Employment-Based Health Benefits?”...  Read More

What We're Reading

Yesterday was 12/12/2012 and astrologers say, "This is a game-changing day. It's a day of intuition and peace, like we are walking through a door of peace." We say that only a few of these reads will raise your blood pressure, so enjoy!...  Read More

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