From the KS Health and Welfare Team:
Today, I had the pleasure of co-chairing the DOL working group that is charged with coordinating employer sponsored health coverage with state premium assistance programs (often referred to as CHIP). In attendance at the meeting this morning was Ms. Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor. She commented that she could only stay briefly because she was heading to the White House to do a press conference on the release of the official grandfather regulations (not the version that was leaked last Friday). After she left, many in the room were seen sending messages on their Blackberries.
I am only able to get to my computer now, and I am delighted to report that retiree health plans (and stand alone dental and vision benefits) remain exempt from all of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Obviously good news for employers. However, it cannot all be good, and unfortunately the grandfather regulations take a narrow view of grandfathered plans, including the kinds of changes that can be made while retaining grandfather status. We will be following up with a Legal Alert on these issues later this week.
For now, appended below is a link to the official press release.