Health Care Reform

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This legislation, along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, makes sweeping changes to the U.S. health care system. These changes will be implemented over the next several years.

Higginbotham is committed to providing frequent updates on health care reform activity so you can plan accordingly and remain in compliance. Check back here often for the most recent legislative changes.

Leading News

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) helps patients, clinicians, payers and the public make informed health decisions by advancing comparative effectiveness research. It’s funded, in part, by fees paid by health insurance issuers and sponsors of self-insured health plans. The PCORI fees apply for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012, but do not apply for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2019.

Issuers and plan sponsors will be required to pay the PCORI fees annually on IRS Form 720 by July 31 of each year. It will generally cover plan years that end during the preceding calendar year. Thus, the deadline for filing Form 720 is July 31, 2014, for plan years ending in 2013. This brief explains who must pay the fee and how much is owed.


Health Care Reform Timeline—A detailed summary of requirements through 2018
Reporting Requirements for Employers and Health Plans
2015 Compliance Checklist

Health Care Reform Activity

June 30, 2014—Supreme Court Rejects Contraceptive Mandate for Some Companies
May 2, 2014—Agencies Release New COBRA Guidance for Individuals and Employers
Apr. 1, 2014—Annual Deductible Limit Repealed for Small Health Plans
Mar. 5, 2014—Final Rules Released on Reporting for Issuers and Self-funded Employers
Feb. 12, 2014—Employer Mandate Delayed Until 2016 for Medium-sized Employers 
Feb. 10, 2014—Final Employer Shared Responsibility Regulations Issued
Jan. 1, 2014—90-Day Waiting Period Limit
Dec. 19, 2013—New Options for Individuals Whose Policies Have Been Canceled
Nov. 14, 2013—White House Announces Transition Policy for Canceled Health Plans
Oct. 31, 2013—Changes to “Use-or-lose” Rule for Health FSAs
Oct. 1, 2013—Exchange Notice Requirements for Employers
Sept. 11, 2013—FAQ on Exchange Notice Penalties
Aug. 27, 2013—IRS Issues Final Rules on Individual Mandate Penalties
July 2, 2013—Employer Mandate Penalties Delayed Until 2015
May 29, 2013—Agencies Issue Final Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs
May 8, 2013—DOL Issues Model Exchange Notice and Sets Compliance Deadline
May 3, 2013—Proposed Rule Released on Minimum Value and Affordability
Jan. 24, 2013—DOL Delays Exchange Notice Requirements
June 28, 2012—Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform Law
May 30, 2012—IRS Provides Guidance on $2,500 Health FSA Limit
Mar. 23, 2012—Health Plan Summary of Benefits and Coverage
Feb. 9, 2012—Status of DOL Model FMLA Forms 
Dec. 2, 2011—Final Regulations Issued on Medical Loss Ratio
Nov. 14, 2011—IRS Q&A on Form W-2 Reporting
July 8, 2011—Interim Final Rule on Administrative Simplification
June 24, 2011—DOL Amends Interim Final Rule on Appeals Process
June 17, 2011—Waiver Program for Annual Limits Will Close to Applications