Late on March 2, 2010, the President signed into law the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (HR 4691). Among other provisions, this law extends the COBRA subsidy eligibility period under ARRA to March 31, 2010.
On behalf of Aisling Partners, I would like to update you on a couple health care initiatives currently taking place in Massachusetts that may prove to be positive for small businesses: The Affordable Health Care Plan and Business Express.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to ensure that financial requirements (such as co-pays, deductibles) and treatment limitations (such as visit limits) applicable to mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant requirements or limitations applied to substantially all medical/surgical benefits.
If you are eligible for health coverage from your employer, but are unable to afford the premiums, some States have premium assistance programs that can help pay for coverage. These States use funds from their Medicaid or CHIP programs to help people who are eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage, but need assistance in paying their health premiums.
The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act, Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006 as amended, changed the laws to require a broadening of dependent coverage offered by health insurance carriers.
The 9-month 65% federal COBRA premium subsidy program has been extended an additional 6 months (for a total of 15 months).
To be an Assistance Eligible Individual (AEI) under the COBRA premium assistance rules, a qualified beneficiary must (1) be eligible for COBRA during the period that begins 9/1/08 and ends 12/31/09, (2) have a qualifying event of involuntary termination during that period, and (3) elect COBRA.
Under Massachusetts health care reform, employers with 11 or more full-time equivalent employees are required to make a ‘fair and reasonable’ premium contribution toward the cost of their employees’ health insurance or be subject to pay a ‘fair share’ assessment to the state.