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On July 22, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit ruled 2-1 that the federal government may not provide tax credits to individuals that purchase their health insurance coverage through federally-facilitated exchanges established pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA"). Halbig v. Burwell, D.C. Cir., No. 14-5018 (D.C. Cir. July 22, 2014).

Set out below is an additional Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This FAQ has been prepared by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments). Like previously issued FAQs (available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/), this FAQ answers a question from stakeholders to help people understand the law and benefit from it, as intended.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan intends to more than double its product offerings in the 2015 individual market this November. Blue Cross and its HMO subsidiary, Blue Care Network, filed 41 total product options with the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) on Sunday, with the intent to offer these plan options to Michigan consumers during the 2015 open enrollment period that begins Nov. 15, 2014. The new products and their prices require regulatory approval – and the products cannot be sold to consumers until Nov. 15.

On June 4, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a report on state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment data.

On June 25, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) jointly issued Final Regulations clarifying the maximum allowed length of a “reasonable and bona fide employment-based orientation period” and the relationship between the orientation period and the 90-day waiting period allowed by the Final Regulations issued in February 2014. These new Final Regulations are scheduled to apply for plan years beginning on or after January 2015.

BY ALSON MARTIN - JULY 15, 2014

Aflac's recent Workforces Report for Brokers recently divulged that nearly 50 percent of brokers are considering leaving the industry, due largely to a landscape vastly changed by PPACA. Employee health benefits have become an increasingly complex industry in the past four years — which is precisely the reason that a solid broker workforce is more needed than ever. When it comes to reporting requirements, your employer clients need advice on everything from W-2 reporting to treatment of self-insured plans to reporting around minimum essential coverage. Here, you'll find answers.

Read the full article at LifeHealthPro.

Last year, in United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. President Obama said: This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law, for children whose parents' marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.

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Health Reform Questions - Enrolling in the Marketplace this Fall   

According to Department of Community Health officials, the Healthy Michigan Plan—the state’s expanded Medicaid Program—now has a total of 301,645 enrollees as of Wednesday this week.