Vorys attorney Robin L. Canowitz recently published an alert discussing potential confusion between a letter released by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and a memo published a week later by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In the letter, HHS clarifies that qualified health plans sold in health insurance marketplaces are not “federal health care programs”. As such, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) does not apply. As Robin explains, providers were concerned that the AKS would prohibit them from paying for the premiums of individuals enrolled in qualified health plans through the marketplace. The letter clarifies that providers can legally pay premiums for patients enrolled in a qualified health plan without violating the federal AKS. The memo issued by CMS just a week later, however, indicates that HHS has concerns with this practice.
Read Robin’s alert for a thorough discussion of these issues.