Mintz Levin's Health Law practice hosts periodic webinars, focusing on various health care-related topics of interest. Our next webinar, which will be of interest to readers of this blog, will focus on strategies for minimizing the risk of being subject to whistleblower actions. Attorneys from our Health Care Enforcement Defense,Class Action, and Employment, Labor & Benefits practices will discuss how to establish an effective qui tam avoidance program. Preventing Whistleblower Actions: Customizing an Effective Qui Tam Avoidance Program will be held on May 22nd from noon to 1:00 pm EST. Click here to register. We hope you can join us!
On Tuesday, January 8, 2013, the Patrick administration proposed legislation that will repeal the Massachusetts Fair Share Law effective June 30, 2013. In effect since 2006, the Fair Share Law requires companies with Massachusetts employees to either provide compliant medical coverage to full time employees, or pay a penalty of $295 per year per employee.
New Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law Makes Important Changes to the "Fair Share Contribution" Rules Affecting Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans
The Massachusetts Legislature recently passed, and Governor Deval Patrick signed into law, S. 2400, “An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs through increased Transparency, Efficiency and Innovation." To read the excellent article writtn by my colleagues Alden Bianchi, Drew Matzkin and Patricia Moran, click here.
The Massachusetts Division of Unemployment assistance continues to audit Massachusetts employers, making sure that anyone doing business in Massachusetts is either meeting the requirements of the Fair Share Law or paying the appropriate penalty ($73.75 per employee per quarter).
The Affordable Care Act, Stand-Alone Health Reimbursement Accounts, and the Prospects for Consumer-Driven Health Plans
Employers are increasingly looking to consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) in an effort to control health insurance costs. CDHPs generally combine a high-deductible health plan with a tax-advantaged account, such as health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), that enrollees can use to pay for otherwise uninsured health care expenses. Proponents claim that CDHPs can help restrain health care spending, arguing that the high deductibles and ability to carry over balances give enrollees an incentive to seek lower-cost health care services and to obtain services only when necessary. Critics worry that these plans may disproportionately attract healthier enrollees who use fewer health care services or may discourage other enrollees from obtaining necessary care.
In a decision made public on August 31, Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, the National Labor Relations Board overturned longstanding precedent to adopt a new, pro-union approach for determining what constitutes an appropriate bargaining unit in non-acute health care facilities, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. Read the Board's press release here.