By Employee Benefit Research Group
More healthcare-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.
Government agencies issue FAQs about ACA implementation and mental health parity implementation
The U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor (DOL), and Health and Human Services (HHS) have released frequently asked questions (FAQs) for part XVIII regarding implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new set of FAQs covers:
• Preventive services
• Limitations on cost-sharing under the ACA
• Expatriate health plans
• Wellness programs
• Fixed indemnity insurance
• The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA)
• The effect of the ACA on MHPAEA
To read the entire set of FAQs, click here.
Rate of health spending growth remained low for fourth consecutive year
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that overall national health expenditures grew at an annual rate of 3.7% in 2012, marking the fourth consecutive year of low growth. Health spending as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) fell slightly from 17.3% in 2011 to 17.2% in 2012.
The report found that the continued low growth in 2012 was driven by slower growth in prescription drug, nursing home, private health insurance, and Medicare expenditures. The report from the CMS Office of the Actuary also found that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contributed to the slow growth for the Medicare program in 2012, but had a limited impact on overall spending as reforms were still being implemented in 2012.
For more information, click here.