Compliance specialists at Proskauer Rose L.L.P. say the U.S. Department of Labor is starting to audit health and welfare plans for compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
The Labor department seems to be sending one type of written PPACA audit notice to plans that claim “grandfathered” status, a second type to non-grandfathered plans, and a third type to both grandfathered and non-grandfathered plans.
A plan can qualify for grandfathered status by showing that it is roughly the same today as it was before March 23, 2010, when PPACA was signed into law.
PPACA exempts grandfathered plans from some PPACA coverage requirements.
Some of the PPACA provisions that already apply to plans deal with matters such as young adult dependents’ access to coverage, coverage for preventive services, coverage for emergency services, annual benefits limits, and appeal rights.
Lawmakers are fighting PPACA in Congress, and states and others are fighting PPACA at the Supreme Court. But, unless and until the court rules that PPACA is unconstitutional, “the act is enforceable and will be enforced by the [Labor Department],” the Proskauer Rose compliance specialists say in a PPACA audit client alert posted on the firm’s website.
The Labor Department has been doing plan audits for compliance with other benefits rules, such as 401(k) plan rules, for years.