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Federal Judges Halt Expanded Exemption From ACA Contraceptive Mandate

In back-to-back decisions, two federal district court judges have blocked implementation of a Trump administration rule that would exempt more employers from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that employer-sponsored group health plans cover birth control supplies and services as preventive care without cost-sharing. State of California v. Health and Human Services, No. 17-cv-05783-HSG (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, January 13, 2019). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump, No. 2:17-cv-04540-WB (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, January 14, 2019).

PODCAST: The Life of an ERISA Claim: Know the Basics and the Pitfalls

In this podcast, Byrne Decker and Steven Silver cover need-to-know basics on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), including when ERISA applies, common challenges for employers, and how ERISA claims are litigated. They also discuss issues that may come up for sports industry employers such as handling disability claims involving concussions.

A Trio of OCR HIPAA Breach Resolutions: Is Your Organization HIPAA Compliant?

Over the past thirty days, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has reached three HIPAA breach resolutions, signaling to organizations that are covered entities and business associates under HIPAA, the importance of instituting basic best practices for data breach prevention and response.

Under ERISA, Ignorance Is Bliss in the Ninth Circuit

In Sulyma v. Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that having access to documents disclosing an alleged breach of fiduciary duty is not sufficient to trigger the three-year statute of limitations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) if the plaintiff does not have actual knowledge of the alleged breach.

Is Nothing Sacred? ERISA Attacks Move From Church Plans to Government Plans

Having settled many of its attacks on pension plans sponsored by several large church-affiliated healthcare organizations, the plaintiff’s bar appears to be shifting focus to pension and welfare benefit plans maintained by a healthcare entity that is at least nominally an instrumentality of a state.

The No-Legged Stool? ACA Declared Unconstitutional in Surprise Decision

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has proven to be quite resistant to attempts to dismantle it, but on December 14, 2018, a federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, may have finally accomplished what the president, Congress, various state and federal regulators, and assorted other statutory assassins have previously been unable to do. In Texas v. United States of America, Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with a key argument advanced by the attorneys general of Texas and 17 other states and concluded that the ACA in its entirety is invalid. For a law whose very existence now is largely attributable to the Supreme Court of the United States’ prior focus on what a tax is, it is ironic that the argument that s

Important Guidance and Relief for 403(B) Plan Sponsors Who Exclude Part-Time Employees

In the spirit of the holidays, the Internal Revenue Service gave a gift to sponsors of 403(b) tax-deferred annuity plans on December 4, 2018, by issuing IRS Notice 2018-95. For plan sponsors that exclude part-time employees from their 403(b) plans, this gift provides a 10-year nod on their historical plan administration, despite noncompliance with the once-in-always-in part-time exclusion condition.

ACA Still in Effect, Despite New Federal Court Ruling

On December 14, 2018, a Texas federal court declared the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. Despite this broad holding (and clickbait headlines), employers should not expect to see any significant changes to the ACA in the near future.

ACA Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Judge, But Will It Stand?

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the ACA should be struck down in its entirety nationwide.

ACA Ruled Unconstitutional, But It’s Status Quo For Employers—For Now

A Texas federal judge dealt a serious blow to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) late Friday afternoon, ruling that the tax reform law passed by Congress in late 2017 rendered the healthcare law unconstitutional. While U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s 55-page opinion overturns the entirety of the law on a national basis, his ruling does not include any sort of injunction that would immediately cause employers to alter their practices with respect to benefit administration. The law remains in place for the foreseeable future, but it certainly stands on shakier ground today than it did just a few days ago.