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Hall Benefits Law is excited to announce the upcoming release of Anne Tyler Hall’s new book, Case Studies in ERISA: Why It Matters and How It Benefits You. The official book launch will coincide with our Open House on April 25, 2019.
In case you missed our recent webinar...
The Current State of the Affordable Care Act: Any Changes Ahead?
One of the most-watched and debated pieces of legislation in recent history is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), originally enacted in 2010 under President Obama. For purposes of our article we will refer to this act as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As President Trump took the White House and Republicans took control of Congress in 2016, organizations were just beginning to get the hang of offering ACA-compliant benefits. The watershed in Washington got people wondering, “What will happen to this law?” Some changes to ACA are already having an impact on consumers and benefits providers, and we anticipate further changes as control of the House of Representatives swings to the Democrats, who aim to protect and expand the ACA.

Executive Orders

While state governors are issuing executive orders to either strengthen or weaken ACA requirements at the state level, the main focus of insurance regulators and benefits administrators is what’s happening in Washington, D.C. One of President Trump’s early executive orders, issued in 2017, focused on:

  • Strengthening healthcare reimbursement accounts (HRAs): Expand the use of HRAs to give employers more options when offering healthcare to employees.

  • Increasing access to short-term health insurance plans: Increase access to short-term plans, opening up options for young, healthy individuals looking to fill coverage gaps.

  • Expanding association health plans: Give small business owners access to more choices and better coverage.

An executive order makes a broad statement of the policy position of an administration. The stated goals of President Trump’s actions are to increase competition among healthcare insurance providers and give consumers more and better choices for healthcare. The exact details of how these new policies will apply and how the Executive Order will integrate with existing laws is determined by the governmental agencies that administer the laws.

The executive orders issued by the Trump Administration made some major changes that began to take effect in 2018. An additional goal of the accompanying regulations was to take steps that would cut the increasing costs of healthcare policy premiums and give states and consumers more options to tailor plans to fit their needs.

New Regulations
After the executive order and the removal of the individual mandate, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service begin the process of issuing regulations to explain the details of how these changes would be enacted. Some regulations, such as the regulations regarding HRAs and association health plans, are now final, and further changes in regulations are expected. A new proposed rule on HRAs, for example, will allow employers to use their HRAs to pay for the individual market premiums of their employees.

Changes Proposed by Democrats
Newly elected Democrat Representatives have not been quiet about their plans for protecting and expanding the ACA, most importantly by working to block any repeal of the legislation. Democrat Presidential candidates for 2020 have also made healthcare access a central issue for their campaigns. Proposals range from increasing access to Medicare by allowing younger individuals to buy in to moving to Medicare for all, essentially a single-payer insurance system. The biggest issue currently under review in Congress is the question of how to limit out-of-control pharmaceutical costs in order to lower the overall cost of healthcare for the average American.

The team at Hall Benefits Law pays close attention to the debate around healthcare, not only in the legislature, but also to regulations from various governmental organizations. We also watch and study as policy groups and healthcare watchdogs call for impactful change. This helps us better prepare and guide our clients through the ever-changing field of healthcare reform. For more resources, visit the Hall Benefits Law website at www.hallbenefitslaw.com , or you can call our Firm Manager, David Hall, at (404) 731-6623.
March 26, 2019
2019 Solution Series
Chattanooga, TN

May 2, 2019
SBEN Annual Education Conference
Stone Mountain, GA

May 16, 2019
SHRM-Atlanta Legal Summit
Atlanta, GA
April 8, 2019
WorldAtWork: B1 - Regulatory Environments for Benefits Programs

April 18, 2019
Retirement Readiness and Social Security Planning with Transitions RBG 

April 25, 2019
Hall Benefits Law Open House, 4pm-7pm
Employee benefit plans typically gather, use, and maintain confidential data about plan participants. Employers, plan sponsors, and fiduciaries must use cybersecurity best practices to protect this information. In this article, we will explore some  cybersecurity techniques  applicable to employee benefit plans.

"Working with Anne Tyler Hall was a pleasure. She helped me transition two underperforming and underutilized retirement plans into a 401(k) plan for my organization. Anne was essential in walking me through the process, ensuring I understood any and all liability, and prepared appropriate documentation. I don't think the transition would have been as successful or smooth without Anne Tyler Hall's expertise."
hallbenefitslaw.com | 678-439-6236