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Issues Mount as Health Plans Offer At-Home COVID-19 Tests

The Biden administration’s January guidance that group health plans and insurers cover the costs of at-home COVID-19 tests has rattled insurers and employers. According to this SHRM article, insurers’ data processing systems have had difficulty paying for tests purchased by consumers at pharmacies, and self-insured employers have struggled to identify the best way to pay for tests. McDermott’s Jacob Mattinson, Teal Trujillo and Judith Wethall recently advised plan administrators to work with their third-party administrators to develop a process for coverage of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests and to develop procedures to reduce the risk of participant fraud.

Read more here.

Ruling Gives Ammunition in Fights Over Health Insurer Clawbacks

A recent ruling from a New Jersey federal district court gives ammunition to providers fighting to stop insurers from engaging in cross-plan offsetting, a common billing practice where health insurers attempt to claw back overpaid claim money from one patient by withholding payment from another patient in a different health plan.

The ruling—which found that the practice violates the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)—could lead to more lawsuits and changes to plan documents. McDermott partner Judith Wethall said in a recent Bloomberg Law article the ruling was more significant than the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit’s 2019 ruling in Peterson v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc.

Access the article.

Beware this Threat to Exec-Comp Tax Deductions

by Andrew C. Liazos

An IRS compensation rule aimed at health insurers could actually apply to a wide range of companies.

It is well known that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or the federal health care reform law) significantly limits the ability of health insurance companies to deduct payment of compensation beginning in 2013.  What is not so well known is that the Internal Revenue Service might apply this limitation to health care services providers that are not typically considered to be insurance companies, to captive insurance companies, and even to companies outside the health insurance industry.

To read the full article, click here.




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