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Reminder: July 31, 2018 Deadline for Annual Reporting and Payment of PCORI Fee Under the Affordable Care Act

The deadline for plan sponsors of self-insured health plans to report and remit the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute fee (?Ç£PCORI Fee?Ç¥) due under the Affordable Care Act with respect to the 2017 plan year is July 31, 2018. For this purpose, a plan year that ended during the 2017 calendar year is considered a 2017 plan year. The PCORI Fee is assessed to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and applies to plan years ending on or after October 1, 2012, and before October 1, 2019. Plans should report and remit the PCORI Fee via a second quarter IRS Form 720. The PCORI Fee is based on a flat dollar amount multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the plan for the applicable plan year. The covered lives fee amount for plan years that ended after December 31, 2016, but before October 1, 2017 is $2.26, and the… Continue Reading

Self-Funded ERISA Health Plans May Opt Into New Law Regarding Out-of-Network Service Providers

New Jersey recently enacted a law that is intended to address the issue of ?Ç£surprise out-of-network charges?Ç¥ to patients who obtain healthcare from healthcare providers in New Jersey. The law, entitled the ?Ç£Out-Of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act?Ç¥ (the ?Ç£NJ Act?Ç¥), applies with respect to patients who have insured health coverage, but may also apply to patients who participate in employer-sponsored, self-funded health plans subject to ERISA (each, a ?Ç£Self-Funded Health Plan?Ç¥) if such plans voluntarily ?Ç£opt in?Ç¥ to the NJ Act. The NJ Act imposes numerous new disclosure obligations on healthcare providers in New Jersey regarding information to be posted on their websites or delivered directly to patients who will receive their services. Such information includes (i) the provider?ÇÖs network status with respect to the patient?ÇÖs health benefit plan, (ii) a listing of the standard charges for items and services provided by a healthcare facility and… Continue Reading

Oracle v. Google ?Çô Redefining The Applicability and Scope of The Fair Use Defense for Software

Oracle v. Google ?Çô Redefining The Applicability and Scope of The Fair Use Defense for Software

2018 Summer Associate Mira Park contributed to this post. On March 27, 2018, in Oracle America Inc. v. Google LLC, No. 17-1118 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that Google?ÇÖs use of Oracle?ÇÖs software code did not constitute a fair use and remanded for a trial on damages. Oracle is the copyright owner of the ?Ç£declaring code?Ç¥, as well as the structure, sequence, and organization (?Ç£SSO?Ç¥) of the Java application programming interface (?Ç£API?Ç¥) packages at issue in this case. A Java API package is a collection of pre-written Java source code programs for providing computer functions, and allows programmers to provide desired functions into their own programs without the need to write the corresponding code from scratch. In 2005, Google wrote its own code to run programs written in the Java language on its Android platform, but used the declaring code verbatim (i.e. 11,500… Continue Reading

Association Health Plan Final Regulations Issued

The DOL released final regulations expanding the groups of employers that may participate in one ERISA-covered employee group health plan (an ?Ç£Association Health Plan?Ç¥). Generally, employers (including working owners with no employees) may participate in an Association Health Plan as long as they are in the same industry, state, or metropolitan area. A major benefit of joining together to participate in one ERISA-covered group health plan, as opposed to being treated as maintaining separate ERISA group health plans, is that the total number of employees participating in the Association Health Plan, from all participating employers, will determine whether the Association Health Plan is treated as ?Ç£large group,?Ç¥ ?Ç£small group,?Ç¥ or individual coverage for purposes of the mandates under the Affordable Care Act (the ?Ç£ACA?Ç¥). The ACA places a number of requirements on small group and individual coverage that do not apply to large group health plans. An Association Health Plan… Continue Reading

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