Human Resources
Aon Hewitt Washington Report - 6/19/2017

Aon Hewitt Washington Report


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June 19, 2017

Legislative/Executive

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Apprenticeship Programs

On June 15, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) giving companies increased authority to design their own apprenticeship programs. The EO increases funding for these “learn-to-earn” programs and reduces the federal government’s role in monitoring such programs.

The EO is available here.

The Department of Labor press release on the EO is available here.

House Passes Three Bills Focusing on ACA “Repeal and Replace”

Last week the House passed three bills as part of the GOP’s initiative to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bills are briefly described below:

  • On June 15, 2017, the House passed on voice vote, the Veterans Equal Treatment Ensures Relief and Access Now Act (H.R. 2372). The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to clarify the rules relating to veteran health insurance and eligibility for the premium tax credit, as part of the American Health Care Act (AHCA - H.R. 1628), passed by the House on May 4.
  • On the same day, the House approved the second measure, the Broader Options for Americans Act (H.R. 2579), with a 267–144 vote. The bill would amend the Code to allow the premium tax credit under the AHCA with respect to unsubsidized COBRA continuation coverage.
  • On June 13, 2017, the House passed with a 238–184 vote the Verify First Act (H.R. 2581). The bill would require individuals to provide their Social Security numbers to receive the health insurance premium tax credit under the AHCA.

H.R. 2372 is available here.

H.R. 2579 is available here.

H.R. 2581 is available here.

Health

Departments Release 38th Set of FAQs on MHPAEA; Request Comments

On June 16, 2017, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (the Departments) released the 38th set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding implementation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the 21st Century Cures Act. These FAQs contain two separate requests for comments, due no later than September 13, 2017, as detailed in the guidance.

On October 27, 2016, the Departments issued ACA Implementation FAQs Part 34, which, among other items, requested feedback regarding disclosures with respect to mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits under MHPAEA and other laws. The Departments are again requesting comments on the questions and issues that were previously raised in the ACA Implementation FAQs Part 34. Additionally, the Departments are soliciting comments on a draft model form that participants, enrollees, or their authorized representatives could—but would not be required to—use to request information from their health plan or issuer regarding nonquantitative treatment limitations that may affect their MH/SUD benefits, or to obtain documentation after an adverse benefit determination involving MH/SUD benefits to support an appeal.

The latest guidance also issues an FAQ regarding treatment for eating disorders: specifically, “Does MHPAEA apply to any benefits a plan or issuer may offer for treatment of an eating disorder?" The Departments answered “yes,” with a request for comments as to whether any additional clarification is needed regarding how the requirements of MHPAEA apply to treatment for eating disorders.

The FAQs are available here.

The draft MHPAEA Disclosure Template is available here.

The PRA Information Collection Request is available here.

The October 27, 2016, FAQs About the ACA Implementation Part 34 and MH/SUD Parity Implementation are available here.