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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
310.299.5500

Showing 8 posts from February 2018.

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Will Disparate Impact Claims Be Permitted in ACA Section 1557 Healthcare Cases?

Civil rights act claimants have long sought to use the “disparate impact” theory to prove discrimination. Under this theory, a policy or action that is neutral on its face and is not intentionally discriminatory can still be deemed to violate the law if it has an especially adverse effect on a disability, sex, age or ethnic group. This theory, however, is difficult to apply to healthcare benefits. Unless resources are unlimited, governmental and private sponsors of health plans must make choices on which physical conditions to cover. But any decision not to cover a condition can seemingly be framed as having an adverse impact on a protected group. (Read More)

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Contact:

Michael Poster
212.730.7700 | mposter@mrllp.com

Ian Shane
212.730.7700 | ishane@mrllp.com

Is a C-Corp. Conversion Right for Your Business?

With the steep reduction in the federal corporate tax rate under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) recently signed into law, many businesses that operate as tax pass-throughs, such as partnerships, LLCs or S-Corporations (“S-Corp.”), may be considering converting to C-Corporation (“C-Corp.”) status instead.

Under the Act:

  • The top federal rate for individuals is reduced from 39.6% to 37% tax on ordinary income such as wages, dividends that are not qualified dividends and short-term capital gains (gains on investment assets held for less than one year). This tax rate will return to 39.6% after 2025 unless the reduced rate is extended or made permanent by subsequent legislation.

(Read More)

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New Proposed Regulations for Short-Term Health Insurance Are a Modest Step on the Road to Cheaper Coverage for Individuals

Federal regulators just announced new proposed rules that will make it easier to sell short-term, limited duration individual health insurance. Short-term insurance can be less costly because it is exempt by statute from most Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates. In late 2016, to curtail its sale, federal regulators changed the rules to require that such insurance have a term of no more than 90 days, and that it not be renewable without the consent of both the insurer and the insured. The new rules alter these restrictions and permit short-term policies with a term of less than 12 months that are renewable with just the insurer’s consent. The net effect: insurers will be able to sell short-term individual policies with terms of up to 364 days that are essentially automatically renewable. (Read More)

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GDPR contact: Scott Lyon
714.557.7990 | slyon@mrllp.com

GDPR Compliance Strategy

The European Union adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on April 27, 2016, establishing the rights and freedoms of EU residents with regard to how their personal data is collected, processed, shared, and retained. No surprise that companies around the world, including clients of Michelman & Robinson, LLP in a range of industries, are struggling to understand how the GDPR will impact their business operations and how they should respond. As the May 25, 2018 deadline for compliance is fast approaching, we thought it would helpful to provide answers to some of the most frequently ask questions about GDPR. (Read More)

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The Key to Native Advertisement in Three Words: Disclose, Disclose, Disclose

There is little doubt that when done right, native advertising works. Digital ads that mimic, in substance or form, news, feature articles, product reviews, social media banter, or entertainment – read, they come across as anything but advertisement – can be extraordinarily effective when it comes to user engagement. But for advertisers, the use of native advertisement is a double-edged sword. Native advertising – equal parts innovative and creative – has the tendency to cross the line from clever to deceptive. Which is why, for years, native advertising has been in the crosshairs of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). Indeed, if there is possible consumer confusion as to whether an advertisement is, in fact, an advertisement (or the affiliation of an endorser is organic), the FTC can and will commence an enforcement action – even where the product claim itself is truthful and accurate. (Read More)

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Advertising Agencies Beware: Your Clients Aren’t The Only Ones On The Hook For FTC Violations

In what amounts to one of the largest judgments ever obtained by the FTC against an ad agency, one such company (the “Agency”) has agreed to pay $2 million to resolve a complaint arising from its creation and dissemination of deceptive radio spots for weight-loss products marketed by one of its clients. The complaint, which was made on behalf of the FTC and State of Maine, alleges that between 2006 and 2015, the Agency made false or unsubstantiated weight-loss claims for two separate products; this on the heels of creating similarly misleading ads for another client’s product – one that was the subject of an FTC complaint filed in 2014. In that matter, the Agency’s client agreed to refund in excess of $25 million to defrauded consumers. (Read More)

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HHS’s Proposed Healthcare Conscience Rules May Open Up New Markets for Health Insurance

HHS’s newly proposed healthcare conscience rules give employers and other health plan sponsors who want to purchase group health insurance, but don’t want to fund abortions, a weapon to force the hand of states which have refused to permit the sale of such coverage. Under recently-proposed regulations enforcing the Weldon Amendment, health plan sponsors will be able to file complaints with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) challenging these state rules. And the new regulations will give OCR strong enforcement powers: either the states permit the sale of health insurance that does not include abortion services or they lose federal funding for healthcare programs like Medicaid. (Read More)

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Closing the Health Insurance Gap for Small Business: The Potential and Pitfalls in the Proposed Rules for Association Health Plans

For years, the percentage of small businesses offering group health insurance coverage has been dropping. This hard fact of life accelerated with the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which put steep coverage mandates on insurance sold to small employers with 50 or less employees, causing corresponding increases in premiums. Many of these mandates did not apply to large employers. When small employers wanted to band together and form associations that would exceed the 50 employee threshold, they ran into federal rules that simply disregarded the existence of the association and treated its members based on their individual sizes. (Read More)