New regs for Thursday: Health insurance, human trafficking, exports to Ukraine

Thursday’s edition of the Federal Register contains new rules from the Treasury Department for nonprofit health insurance issuers, new protections from the Department of Defense to combat human trafficking and new sanctions from the Department of Commerce that implement U.S. policy toward Russia.

Nonprofit health insurance issuers: The Department of Treasury is moving forward with rules that nonprofit health insurance issuers participating in the Affordable Care Act’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan program must comply with in order to be exempt from paying federal income tax.

To qualify, the nonprofit health insurance issuer has to apply to the Treasury Department for the exemption. But the nonprofit health insurance issuers’ net earning cannot benefit any private shareholder or individual unless the profits are being used to lower premiums or improve benefits or the quality of care. Qualified nonprofit health insurance issuers are also prohibited from participating in or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of the candidate.

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The rule will take effect on Thursday.

Human trafficking: The Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration are issuing a final rule to strengthen protections against human trafficking in federal contracts.

The rule will require contractors and subcontractors to notify government employees of human trafficking violations and put those people on notice for potential termination, use recruiters that comply with local labor laws of the country in which the recruiting takes place, and give employees a work document.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 prohibits the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud or coercion the purpose of subjection to involuntary to be subjected to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery and sex trafficking.

The rule will take effect in 30 days.

Exports to Ukraine: The Department of Commerce is moving forward with a rule that will make it almost impossible to export and re-export goods to the Crimea region of Ukraine and to transfer goods within the region.

The Bureau of Industry and Security will now require a license for exports, re-exports and transfers, but the rule also makes those licenses practically dead on arrival.

The rule is a response to an executive order in March blocking property of certain persons and prohibiting certain transactions with respect to Crimea.

The rule does not apply for the export, re-exports or transfers of certain food and medicine.

The rule will take effect on Thursday.