On October 16, 2013, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law legislation raising the debt ceiling, providing for continuing appropriations through early 2014, and ending the government shutdown which began in early October.  Most readers are aware that dispute over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“PPACA”) played a significant role in the impasse which led to the government shutdown.  In this client alert, we discuss how the legislation ending the shutdown addresses PPACA and what employers need to know about its continuing implementation.

Despite various initiatives with more far-reaching implications for the future of health care reform, the final legislation contained only three limited provisions directly addressing PPACA:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) must ensure that the health care exchanges verify individuals’ eligibility for the premium tax credit and the cost-sharing reductions which are intended to assist individuals in purchasing health insurance on the exchanges.
  • The Secretary of HHS must submit a report to Congress by January 1, 2014 detailing the procedures employed by the exchanges to verify eligibility for the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions.
  • The Inspector General of HHS must submit a report to Congress by July 1, 2014 regarding the effectiveness of the procedures and safeguards provided under PPACA for preventing the submission of inaccurate or fraudulent information by applicants for enrollment in a qualified health plan offered through an exchange.