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July 23, 2014

As the ACA Turns: Conflicting Appeals in Washington

Yesterday was a very rare day with two appellate level courts reaching conflicting opinions on the same issue regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At issue was whether federally facilitated exchanges could make premium assistance payments for a person enrolling for health insurance through a federally-facilitated exchange. The language in statute, Code § 36B, states that assistance payments may be made by “Exchange established by the State,” and makes no reference to federally facilitated exchanges. Federal regulations provided that the assistance payments also included federally-facilitated Exchanges. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Halbig, et al. v HHS) said “no” to the interpretation of the statute by the regulations, and the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (King, et al. v HHS) said “yes.”

Hello Supreme Court, here we go again.  Does this mean that those living in the District of Columbia will not receive assistance payments until the Supreme Court rules?

The Affordable Care Act sets in motion the largest change in employer-provided health benefits most of us have seen in our lifetime. Keep in mind the reform is ever-changing. To keep up to date subscribe to our blog. For further questions regarding the ACA, please contact Steve Dunavant atsdunavant@cbiz.comor (901) 685-5575.

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