Aon Hewitt Washington Report
February 20, 2017
CMS Publishes Proposed Rule on Market Stabilization
On February 17, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule addressing the stabilization of the individual and small group markets. This proposed rule would amend standards related to special enrollment periods, guaranteed availability, and the timing of the annual open enrollment period in the individual market for the 2018 plan year; standards related to network adequacy and essential community providers for qualified health plans; and the rules around actuarial value requirements. Comments on the proposed rule are due by March 7, 2017.
The CMS proposed rule is available here.
House Passes Resolutions to Halt State-Run Retirement Plans for Private-Sector Employees
On February 15, 2017, the House approved two resolutions of disapproval (H.J. Res. 66 and H.J. Res. 67) that would prevent two Department of Labor (DOL) regulations regarding state and locally run retirement plans for private sector workers from going into effect. The final vote on each resolution was 234–91, along party lines. The resolutions now move to the Senate floor for consideration.
In August 2016, the DOL issued final safe harbor regulations that describe how states may design and operate payroll deduction savings programs using automatic enrollment for private-sector employees, without causing the states or the private-sector employers to establish employee pension benefit plans under ERISA. The DOL followed up with additional final safe harbor regulations in December 2016, to include cities and other political subdivisions. According to the DOL, eight states have enacted legislation to create retirement savings programs for private-sector workers.
H.J. Res. 66 (focusing on state-run plans) is available here.
H.J. Res. 67 (focusing on locally run plans) is available here.
The DOL news release (from August 2016) on the final regulations for state plans (including a link to the regulations) is available here.
The DOL news release (from December 2016) on the ERISA safe harbor regulations for municipally sponsored plans (including a fact sheet, regulations, etc.) is available here.