Healthcare Reform Update - December 22, 2017

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Benefit Impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

On December 20th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which went to President Trump’s desk for signature. The President has 10 days to sign the bill into law. While the main focus of the sweeping tax reform measure was on lowering the federal tax rates of both businesses and individuals, the Act did include a number of provisions that will impact, both directly and indirectly, employer sponsored benefit plans.
Government Issues Guidance for Employers Wishing to Revoke Accommodation for Contraceptive Coverage While District Court Issues Nationwide Injunction

PPACA generally requires all non-grandfathered group health plans to provide coverage for certain contraceptive benefits, including all FDA-approved contraceptive methods. In interim final rules issued in October 2017, HHS expanded the exemption of the contraceptive mandate to include all employers (except non-federal governmental employers) who objected to providing contraceptive coverage, based on either sincerely held religious beliefs or sincerely held moral beliefs. To assist employers who were interested in the new expanded exemption, HHS issued guidance explaining that, if an employer had previously opted for the accommodation, but, in light of the new expanded exemption, now wishes to revoke it, the employer must notify plan participants and beneficiaries.
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