Northern Arapaho Tribe files federal lawsuit over IRS health care rule

Government And Institutions Associated Press

The Northern Arapaho Tribe has filed a federal lawsuit alleging proposed Internal Revenue Service rules could cause Native Americans to pay higher insurance premiums or lose health care benefits.

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Tribal leaders say the recently proposed IRS interpretation of the large-employer mandate would unlawfully exempt Native Americans working for the tribe from receiving tax credits and cost-sharing benefits outlined by new federal health insurance laws.

According to the Casper Star-Tribune (http://tinyurl.com/p6v475o ), Northern Arapaho Business Council members say the IRS rule would eliminate tribal tax credits for health care benefits. They also say the rule would make tribe members earning more than 300 percent of the federal poverty level exempt from cost-sharing provisions that cover Native American insurance premiums.

The IRS didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming has about 10,000 enrolled members.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com