Posts Categorized: Health Benefits

New CMS Medicare Access Rules

in Health Benefits

Today, CMS proposed new regulations that would provide access to Medicare data.  The new rules will allow organizations that meet certain qualifications access to patient-protected Medicare data to produce public reports on physicians, hospitals and other health care providers.  The news release is linked below. Major New Effort to Give Consumers and Employers Better Information About Quality of Care

DOMA Enforcement

in Health Benefits, Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

Recently, the Obama Administration indicated that it will no longer enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Many employer sponsors are wondering how this affects their plans.  We are currently examining these issues and plan to issue a Legal Alert next week discussing the implications.  However, please keep in mind that DOMA does not affect ERISA preemption, so for self-insured plans, ERISA preemption is still alive and well.

Illinois Civil Unions

in Health Benefits, Welfare Benefits

Effective June 1, 2011, both same gender and opposite gender civil unions are permitted in Illinois.  A link to the bill – SB 1716 – is appended below.  It’s time to dust off those domestic partner and marriage policies for health plans. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/96/SB/PDF/09600SB1716enr.pdf

All Quiet in DC this Week

in Health Benefits, Retiree Benefits, Welfare Benefits

Now that the set of Transformers 3 has moved out of DC, it is fairly quite this week.  It appears that everyone is digging out from the avalanche of Affordable Care Act guidance, and waiting for the elections in two weeks.  As you are updating your enrollment guides and summary plan descriptions, and drafting plan document amendments, keep in mind that plaintiffs lawyers love obscurity and inconsistency.  The best way to draft any plan language is to be clear and consistent among your enrollment guides, summary plan descriptions and plan documents.