Aon Hewitt Washington Report
April 17, 2017
House and Senate Adjourn for Spring Recess
Congress has adjourned for spring recess and is scheduled to return to the Hill on Monday, April 24, 2017.
CMS Releases Final Regulations on Affordable Care Act Market Stabilization
On April 13, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released regulations that finalize changes that will help stabilize the individual and small group markets and affirm the traditional role of state regulators under the Affordable Care Act. This final rule amends standards relating 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. These regulations become effective on June 19, 2017.
The final regulations are temporarily available here.
(The final regulations will be published in the April 18, 2017, Federal Register.)
The CMS news release is available here.
President Trump Signs Legislation Halting City-Run Retirement Plans for Private-Sector Employees
On April 13, 2017, President Trump signed H.J. Res. 67 into law. The legislation nullifies a rule and prevents a Department of Labor (DOL) regulation regarding savings arrangements established by qualified state political subdivisions for private sector workers from going into effect. 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. H.J. Res. 67 only addresses these December 2016 regulations regarding the extension of such savings arrangements to qualified state political subdivisions.The DOL followed up with additional final safe harbor regulations in December 2016, to include cities and other political subdivisions. H.J. Res. 67 only addresses these December 2016 regulations regarding the extension of such savings arrangements to qualified state political subdivisions.
The House approved a separate resolution of disapproval (H.J. Res. 66) in February 2017, that would prevent the August 2016 DOL regulations regarding state-run retirement plans for private sector employees from going into effect. A Senate vote on H.J. Res. 66 is expected in May.
H.J. Res. 67 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.