IRS Offers Relief for Some Taxpayers Who Received Excess Advanced Premium Tax Credits

The IRS issued Notice 2015-09 allowing some individuals in 2014 who received excess advance premium tax credits (APTC) to waive their related liability payments for one year, helping smooth the transition to the first year of tax filing for ACA-related coverage. The relief will be applied to taxpayers who are otherwise current with their tax filing and payment obligations, have a balance due to the IRS resulting from excess APTC and who report the amount of excess APTC on their tax return.

CBO Reduces Estimates of ACA Coverage Costs in Budget and Economic Outlook Report

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the ACA’s health insurance coverage expansions will cost $571 billion between fiscal years 2015 and 2020, a 20% reduction from the Agency's prediction in March 2010. The reduction is primarily caused by a slowdown in healthcare spending and lower-than-anticipated premiums, according to CBO director Douglas Elmendorf. The CBO estimates that in total, ACA expansions will cost $76 billion in 2015 and $1,350 billion between 2016 and 2025. In addition, federal Medicaid spending is expected to rise by 11% in 2015 as more states expand Medicaid, and that enrollment in the program will reach 75 million by 2020. The Agency reduced its estimate of 2015 marketplace enrollment from 13 million to 12 million, primarily because of lower than expected November and December 2014 enrollment, and higher than expected attrition in 2014 plans.

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Providers May Sue States for Low Provider Reimbursement

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, a case hinged on whether Medicaid providers are permitted to sue states in federal court over enforcement of the Medicaid Act. The case originated in Idaho, where a group of providers sued the State’s Medicaid Agency for not implementing reimbursement rates sufficiently high to comply with federal payment requirements. While the providers argue that courts should decide such rulings because they are based on whether federal laws supersede conflicting state laws, the State argues that Congress has not authorized the suits and that HHS should hear them. Ruling in favor of the state could have negative implications on provider participation in Medicaid. The Justices appear divided on the case, according to Modern Healthcare.