On January 1, 2015, employers with 100 or more “full-time equivalents” will be subject to the “Pay or Play” regulations under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Over the past few years, many consultants have sought to identify loopholes in the law and lower-cost strategies for complying. Unfortunately for employers who were banking on these “workarounds,” the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor both issued guidance this week dismissing several of the more aggressive strategies that have garnered attention in the press.
Continue Reading Feds Tighten the Belt on “Skinny Plans” and Other ACA Workarounds

Earlier today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorizes the issuance of tax credits to assist individuals to purchase health coverage only on state-run exchanges. On the same day, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reached the opposite conclusion in King v. Burwell, holding that ACA tax credits were also available to participants in federally-run exchanges.
Continue Reading Halbig v. Burwell: A Death Blow for the Affordable Care Act?

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. et al., that the Affordable Care Act’s “contraceptive mandate”, as applied to “closely held corporations”, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Much has been written about the decision authored by Justice Alito and its impact on the rights of corporations. However, most employers are still seeking clarity in terms of how the decision impacts their group health plans.
Continue Reading Key Questions Left in the Wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision

Earlier this morning, the United States Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision on the constitutionality of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The Supreme Court ruled that the PPACA, including the individual mandate requiring almost all Americans to buy health insurance, is constitutional.

To help employers determine how the Supreme Court’s decision affects their businesses and benefits plans, the Employee Benefits Practice of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC will be offering two presentations in July 2012 entitled “What the Supreme Court’s Decision on Health Care Reform Means to Your Business.” These presentations will provide a practical guide to employers and other professionals who need to understand the decision and their obligations under the PPACA going forward.
Continue Reading McNees to Offer Seminars on How the Supreme Court’s Health Care Decision Affects Your Business