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Posts from January 2018.
By Jeffrey Herman on January 26, 2018 at 9:16 AM

Stethoscope, money and a calculator on a tableAs previously noted, the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA, or more informally as Obamacare) still applies in 2018. Finding affordable coverage to avoid the penalty is essential.

One option available to individuals and families is joining a “health care sharing ministry” (HCSM) under Section 5000A of the Tax Code. If an individual is covered by an HCSM in any given month in 2018, then the individual will not be subject to the tax penalty for that month.

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By Heather Mehta on January 24, 2018 at 1:25 PM

One orange arrow going to the right, two white arrows going to the left on a chalkboardOn January 22, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court requested the Solicitor General’s opinion on whether a plaintiff can simultaneously bring a claim for benefits and a claim for breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). A request for the view of the Solicitor Generally typically indicates the court’s interest in hearing a case.

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By Jeffrey Herman on January 22, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Health insurance application form on a wooden table with glassesIn Executive Order 13813, President Donald Trump made it the official policy of the executive branch to find ways to expand the use of Association Health Plans (AHPs) as a means of providing quality, affordable coverage across state lines.

On January 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed rule designed to do just that. Based on 2015 figures, the proposed rule has the potential to impact the health coverage of about 44 million people, whether by expanding coverage to the uninsured, by making more affordable coverage available to sole proprietors and small employers, or by cutting back some individuals’ benefits.

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By Heather Mehta on January 18, 2018 at 12:25 PM

U.S. Supreme Court building. The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to address the issue of whether forum selection clauses are valid and enforceable in plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Three U.S. Courts of Appeals have allowed enforcement of plans’ forum selection clauses.

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By Heather Mehta on January 8, 2018 at 2:15 PM

The word "fees" written on a yellow post-it note on top of a deskEffective Jan. 2, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) simplified the fee structure for its Voluntary Compliance Program. Fees will now be based on the total amount of net plan assets rather than the number of plan participants.

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By Jeffrey Herman on January 2, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Taxpayer writing a checkSection 11081 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — the new tax reform law passed by Congress in late 2017 — repeals the so-called “individual mandate” under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA, or more informally as Obamacare).

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