Gila River Indian Community and Gila River Health Care v. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs: Yoder & Langford is working with the Gila River Indian Community office of general counsel to secure declaratory relief confirming that Tribal Health Care programs are entitled to reimbursement for both direct and referral care provided to Native American veterans. Current reimbursement agreements developed by VA and IHS limit reimbursements to direct service care only. This case is currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
IHS Trust Responsibility: Yoder & Langford is working to secure confirmation through litigation and consultation that the United States owes an enforceable trust responsibility in the provision of health care for Indians. IHS has defended several recent cases, arguing that tribes have no legal right to enforce trust responsibilities for health care.
General Welfare Exclusion: With the passage of Internal Revenue Code Section 139E, we are working on many general welfare ordinance and tribal member program revisions. Tribes who have not yet amended their codes and programs to meet Code Section 139E will want to consider changes as soon as possible.
We advise and assist clients on the design and administration of retirement plans, retiree medical trusts, governmental excess benefit arrangements, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, and welfare benefit programs.
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Yoder & Langford focuses on tribal government issues. We advise our tribal clients on tax law, trust matters, employee benefits programs and health care issues in a manner that coordinates federal regulation with tribal sovereignty.
Redding Rancheria v. Burwell / Indian Health Services: Yoder & Langford is representing the Redding Rancheria of California in litigation currently pending in the DC District Court, in which Redding is seeking to preserve the ability of tribes to coordinate federally funded health care programs under ISDEAA with tribal self-insurance. IHS has temporarily put its controversial proposed CHEF regulations on hold in response to this litigation.
UPDATE: On November 7, 2017, the DC District Court ruled in favor of the Redding Rancheria on summary judgment, confirming that tribes and tribal self-insurance programs have payer of last resort rights, and may coordinate care to secure better discounts and maintain CHEF coverage. We will be asking IHS to withdraw its controversial proposed CHEF regulations in light of this pro self-governance decision.
Three Tribal Tax Bills Pending: We urge tribal support for efforts to include three separate tax bills into this year's larger tax reform efforts. The three tribal specific bills (S1935, S2012 and S548) are all consistent with the overall goal of improving parity.
The firm was founded in 1997 to serve tribal government clients with regard to benefits law, health care and taxation issues. The firm works on self-governance and self determination issues and remains actively involved with national efforts to strengthen sovereignty through consultation, legislation, policy and regulatory reform.
DOL Enforcing ERISA With No Tribal Guidance: Yoder & Langford is currently defending a tribal government in a DOL penalty assessment case under ERISA. We are asserting that tribes who apply ERISA requirements in good faith pending regulatory guidance should be granted reasonable cause waivers, and that tribes are entitled to government-to-government consultation in developing regulatory guidance before being subjected to audits or assessments under Executive Order 13175. Over the next few months, we will be seeking to secure tribal input to initiate consultation over these issues.
Keep Informed: Client resources that will help you stay ahead of changing compliance regulations.