In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld June 28, 2012,
virtually all of the Affordable Care Act (with certain limitations
as to the expansion of Medicaid under the Act), ruling that
although the individual mandate to purchase health insurance is
itself unconstitutional, the fine assessable against individuals
who fail to obtain health insurance constitutes a "tax,"
the levying of which falls within Congress' constitutional
taxing powers. As a result, subject to changes in the
political landscape from the upcoming elections, the 2014
provisions of the Act will go into effect as scheduled, joining
those provisions already in effect.
Employers should consider now the potentially significant
increases in health care premiums forecasted by economists when
these provisions go into effect. To the extent employees will be
required to make up some of the difference (e.g., through
increased employee contributions and co-pays), employers also
should begin to explore their options, as well as attempt to manage
the expectations of their employees in connection with the coming
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Whether you are an employer that provides health insurance for your employees, a business in the growing healthcare industry, a hospital, or other medical provider—or you provide services to any of those entities—you need to know about changes to the privacy and security rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Marilyn Tavenner received bipartisan support from members of the Senate Committee on Finance in her confirmation hearing to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) though a full Senate vote is being held up, the president released his FY 2014 budget proposal with health care reform and specified reimbursement reductions to providers and manufacturers totaling $400 billion over 10 years sprinkled throughout it, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sebelius
The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services has recently issued an updated Special Advisory Bulletin on the Effect of Exclusion from Participation in Federal Health Care Programs.
On Tuesday, the North Carolina legislature has enacted into law, pending the governor's signature, a prohibition on the use of most favored nations clauses in contracts between commercial health insurers and providers.