As we launch into a new year, the federal government also begins the next stage of Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. Below you’ll find a brief update of the provisions set to begin implementation this calendar year. All provisions are effective as of January 1, 2011 unless otherwise noted.
- Insurers required to pay rebates if target medical loss ratio is exceeded.
- Health and Human Services to begin awarding grants to states for the establishment of American Health Benefit Exchanges and Small Business Health Options Program Exchanges. Effective March 23, 2011.
- CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act) Program is established as a voluntary program for purchasing long-term care insurance.
- Over-the-counter drugs not prescribed by a doctor are excluded from Health Reimbursement Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.
- 20% tax on pre-tax distributions from HRAs or FSAs that are not used for qualified medical expenses.
- States will now have the option to permit certain Medicaid enrollees to designate a provider as their health home. States will receive 90% FMAP for 2 years for these services.
- Health and Human Services can begin providing 3 year grants to states to develop chronic disease prevention programs under Medicaid.
- Prohibition on federal payments to states for Medicaid services related to certain hospital-acquired infections.
- State balancing incentive program created to provide enhanced FMAP payments for non-institutionally based long-term care services.
- 10% bonus payments for primary care services and general surgeons in health professional shortage areas begin.
- Funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board becomes available October 1, 2011.
- Waived deductible for colorectal cancer screenings and the elimination of cost-sharing for covered preventative services.
- Pharmaceutical manufacturers must begin providing a 50% discount on brand-name drugs filled in the Part D coverage gap.
- Part D premium subsidies for high-income beneficiaries reduced.
- Medicare Advantage payments restructured by phasing-in lower fee-for-service rates. Prohibits plans from imposing higher cost-sharing requirements on some benefits.
- Chain restaurants and vending machines required to disclose nutritional content of standard menu items beginning March 23, 2011.
- Unused GME residency slots will be redistributed beginning July 1, 2011.