Still very confusing and the administration is slow to give us answers. I have said many times the biggest problem with government today can be said in one word “Uncertainty” Business just doesn’t know.
So many changes yet to come but we are getting closer to final rulings (explanations) on what is actually in the Health Care law.
Final Rules on Minimum Essential Coverage
June 26, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have filed a final rule, concerning notices covering minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These rulings will clarify the Minimum Essential Coverage Guidelines beginning Jan. 1, 2014
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, U.S. citizens and legal residents will be required to have health insurance that meets federal minimum essential coverage standards or they will face financial penalties. Many believe that the fines will have little effect on most Americans to purchase medical insurance, as costs have risen dramatically the last several years. Mandate guide lines for undocumented residents are yet to be discussed, but there is little doubt they will be offered coverage. Under ACA, minimum essential coverage includes: employer-sponsored coverage (including COBRA coverage and retiree coverage); coverage purchased in the individual market; public programs such as Medicare Part A (including Medicare Advantage), most Medicaid coverage, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and certain veterans’ health coverage administered by the Veterans Administration.
The secretary of HHS is to work with the secretary of the Treasury to designate other health coverage as minimum essential coverage.
The final rule issued by HHS:
- Covers eligibility exemptions from the individual responsibility payment (including hardship and religious conscience exemptions), including the eligibility process for issuing certificates of exemption and appeals from exchange determinations.
- The final rule designates self-funded health insurance plans, foreign health coverage, Refugee Medical Assistance supported by the Administration for Children and Families, Medicare Advantage plans, AmeriCorps coverage, and state high-risk pools as minimum essential coverage.
- In a change from the proposed rule, the final rule states that self-funded student health and state high-risk pools are not automatically considered minimum essential coverage after 2014. In 2015, such plans may apply to HHS under a process outlined in the final rule to be designated as minimum essential coverage by the HHS secretary.
In two notices released on June 26, the IRS provided additional guidance on minimum essential coverage and transition relief related to the individual shared responsibility provisions of ACA.
Notice 2013-41 provides more detail about whether someone has minimum essential coverage for purposes of premium tax credit eligibility under the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicare Part A, TRICARE (coverage under Military), state high-risk pools and student health plans.
Notice 2013-42 provides information on the penalty for not having minimum essential coverage if they are eligible to enroll in employer-sponsored coverage with a non-calendar plan year that begins in 2013 and ends in 2014.
Notices will be published on July 15. Comments on Notice 2013-41 may be submitted in writing on or before Aug. 26.
Benefits Age offers a full line of Obama care minimum essential group plans for as little as $40.00 per employee per month
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