• PPACA After the Government Shutdown
  • October 22, 2013 | Author: Joanne C. Youn
  • Law Firm: Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered - Washington Office
  • Congress has passed and President Obama has signed the new Continuing Appropriations Act (the "Act"). The Act provides for continuing appropriations and raises the debt ceiling through early 2014, thus ending the government shutdown which began in early October. Most readers are aware that dispute over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 ("PPACA") played a significant role in the impasse which led to the government shutdown. In this client alert, we discuss how the Act addresses PPACA and what employers need to know about its continuing implementation.

    Despite various initiatives with more far-reaching implications for the future of health care reform, the Act contains only three limited provisions directly addressing PPACA:

    • The Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") must ensure that the health care exchanges verify individuals' eligibility for the premium tax credit and the cost-sharing reductions which are intended to assist individuals in purchasing health insurance on the exchanges.

    • The Secretary of HHS must submit a report to Congress by January 1, 2014 detailing the procedures employed by the exchanges to verify eligibility for the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions.

    • The Inspector General of HHS must submit a report to Congress by July 1, 2014 regarding the effectiveness of the procedures and safeguards provided under PPACA for preventing the submission of inaccurate or fraudulent information by applicants for enrollment in a qualified health plan offered through an exchange.

    It is important to understand that the Act alters neither the basic terms of the law nor the compliance deadlines for employers and individuals which were in place prior to the government shutdown. We discussed some of those issues in our previous client alerts "PPACA 2014: The Implications for Employers" and "Transitional Reinsurance Program Fee Applies to Self-Insured Group Health Plans".