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As the ACA’s early retiree reinsurance program (ERRP) prepares to close at year-end, CMS last week set deadlines for participating plan sponsors' reports and submissions. Sponsors have until July 31 to submit reimbursement requests and report inaccuracies in already processed requests. By Dec. 31, sponsors must correct or update approved applications, report changes of ownership, or request reopening of adverse reimbursement decisions. ERRP-participating employers should consider whether they need to update or correct prior submissions or want to make any final submissions by the various due dates.
CMS also issued a proposed rule detailing a methodology for cutting the federal share of Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments for FYs 2014 and 2015. State Medicaid programs make DSH payments to hospitals that serve large numbers of low-income individuals and have high uncompensated care costs. The ACA’s coverage expansion is expected to lower hospitals' uncompensated care costs. DSH reductions will vary, with smaller cuts in states receiving lower DSH payments and larger cuts in states with fewer uninsured. CMS will issue rules later to cover reductions through FY 2020.
On Friday, the agency released a final rule confirming that Medicare Advantage and Part D drug sponsors must comply with their own special medical loss ratio requirements under the ACA starting next year.
This week in Congress, the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status will be a focus of several hearings; GOP members plan to try to link the scandal to the agency’s key role in implementing health care reform. A House hearing will examine the reform law’s potential to raise insurance premiums.