Seyfarth Synopsis: Following years of back and forth, new final rules were published by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on May 6, 2024 reinstituting the Department’s interpretation that the prohibition on discrimination by health programs and activities “on the basis of sex” includes treatments for gender-affirming care. In this post, we explore

This post was originally published to Seyfarth’s Global Privacy Watch blog.

Seyfarth Synopsis: This past Monday, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its final rule aimed at strengthening the HIPAA Privacy rules as they are applied to reproductive health data.

On the heels of the release of the 2022 US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Biden Administration directed the Federal agencies to examine what they could do to protect women’s health and privacy. Shortly thereafter, HHS released guidance under HIPAA related to reproductive health care services under a health plan, focusing on information required to be disclosed by law, for law enforcement purposes, and to avert a serious threat to health or safety (see our earlier Alert here). Then, in April 2023, HHS issued proposed modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule aimed at these concerns. A year later, the agency finalized those rules on April 22, 2024 – the Final Rule.Continue Reading HHS Strengthens HIPAA Rules to Protect Reproductive Health Privacy

Seyfarth Synopsis: The agencies have finalized a portion of their proposed rules impacting so-called “junk insurance” regarding short-term limited-duration insurance, but deferred finalizing the more significant changes that would have impacted most fixed indemnity policies. 

In early April 2024, the Treasury Department, Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “agencies”) issued final rules regarding short-term limited-duration insurance (STLDI). Avid readers of this blog may recall our earlier post on the proposed rules, found here, which impacted STLDI as well as other issues surrounding excepted benefits. The new final rules primarily address the STLDI portion of the proposed rules, and generally adopt them as proposed. Aside from a new notice requirement, the agencies delayed finalizing the rules on fixed indemnity insurance, but warned that the delay should not be an endorsement of the abusive practices that have emerged in this space.Continue Reading Agencies Defer Final Action on Junk Insurance, While Suggesting Caution Against One Last “Binge”

Over the last year, there has been an onslaught of state legislation enacting limits on gender-affirming care for minors. Access to gender-affirming care has become a flashpoint at the forefront of the culture wars, with state legislation largely following party lines. While diagnoses of gender dysphoria for minors aged 6-17 have steady increased, with one

Earlier this year, the Biden-Harris Administration took a firm stance against ‘junk insurance’ by introducing regulations aimed at impacting short-term limited duration insurance policies, independent non-coordinated coverage, and level funded plan arrangements. In this episode, our guests Diane Dygert and Benjamin Conley provide insights on these proposed regulations, addressing employee comprehension gaps, coverage notifications, and

Seyfarth Synopsis: The IRS has announced an increase to the applicable dollar amount for determining the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (“PCORI”) Fee for 2024 as well as other health and welfare limits.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the PCORI to support research on clinical effectiveness. The PCORI is funded (through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Seyfarth Synopsis: In August, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals revived a challenge by Airlines for America (“A4A”), to San Francisco’s Healthy Airport Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), which requires airlines that use the San Francisco International Airport, which the City runs, to provide enhanced health plan benefits to the airlines’ employees and their dependents.  A4A, an

Seyfarth Synopsis: The IRS has announced adjustments decreasing the affordability threshold for plan years beginning in 2024, which may cause employers to have to pay more for ACA compliant coverage in 2024.

The IRS recently released adjustments decreasing the affordability threshold for plan years beginning in 2024 in Revenue Procedure 2023-29.

Under the Affordable

This post was originally published to Seyfarth’s Global Privacy Watch Blog.

As organizations begin renewing and entering into new contractual relationships for 2024, an oft-forgotten aspect of the contracting process is determining whether a Business Associate Agreement (a “BAA”) is required. Under HIPAA, health care providers, health plans and health care clearinghouses (“Covered Entities”)