Ever since former President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law in 2010, GOP leaders have been vowing to repeal it as soon as the chance presented itself. With Republicans winning the presidency, as well as taking control of both the House and the Senate in the last November’s general elections, lawmakers are now looking to seize that opportunity. Should the proposed measure pass, we should see the repeal of several aspects of the ACA and replace them with alternatives developed by Republican congressional leaders.
How Will Repealing the ACA Affect Your Employee’s Benefits?
So what does this mean to you and the health insurance portion of your employee benefits program going forward? In terms of the immediate future, likely nothing. Most experts agree that current Affordable Care Act insurance provisions will continue to be followed as lawmakers plan how and when any proposed changes to the law will be implemented. Even with the new updates to the law, certain parts of the ACA will remain in effect.
In terms of your employee’s eligibility for coverage, many on the Republican side have voiced their support for Affordable Care Act insurance policies such as allowing dependents to remain eligible for coverage under the parents’ plans until the age of 26. The GOP also agrees with prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to applicants with pre-existing medical conditions. Republican leaders have, however, remained consistent in their opposition of the Individual Mandate requiring everyone to carry insurance. Thus, once that aspect of the law has been repealed, your employees will regain the option of refusing coverage.
Changes to Your Tax Obligations
Yet perhaps the biggest change that could affect you with the repeal of several Affordable Care Act insurance regulations are the proposed changes to tax provisions. The basic tax regulations under the ACA included:
- Small Business Health Care Tax Credits for employers with fewer than 25 employees who covered at least 50 percent of their employees’ premium costs.
- Requirements for large employers to provide minimum essential coverage for their workforces.
- Employment shared responsibility payments required from applicable large employers that didn’t meet minimum coverage requirements.
Tax breaks to employers regarding their employee health insurance plans accounted for $144 billion in tax relief in 2016. Proposed amendments to the law call for uniform reductions in tax deductions across the board, which will almost certain impact your employment tax obligations going forward.
No matter the outcome of the vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, one thing seems certain: Those who enrolled in Affordable Care Act insurance are almost certain to see changes to their policy provisions in the near future. To better understand what those changes may be (and to anticipate how to deal with them), contact us with your questions or concerns. You can also stay informed on current changes by liking is on Facebook, finding us on linkedIn, or subscribing to our blog.