There is a lot of buzz right now about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and what impact the recent election will have on this law, which impacts all individuals and business in some way. The ACA has so many pieces from individual and employer mandates, to employer reporting requirements, to state exchange marketplaces for individual and group coverage, leaving business leaders wondering what is to come.
From the research we have done, these are the things that are likely to happen within the next few weeks as president-Elect Trump takes office:
There are two options that could occur:
1- Repeal the ACA (or parts of the ACA) without a replacement option in place and come up with a replacement down the road.
2- Repeal the ACA (or parts of the ACA) and replace it with new healthcare initiatives almost simultaneously.
Originally it was believed that if any parts of the ACA were repealed this month, the first option would be the only one available. That has recently changed as House and Senate Republicans have been working on replacement ideas that they insist could be put into place very quickly.
The manner in which Congress can go about repealing ACA is through budget reconciliation, where anything that impacts government spending or individual taxes can be adjusted with a majority vote and signature from the President. This means that while the ACA won’t likely be completely removed immediately, parts could change very quickly.
For example, if Congress removed the penalties involved with the individual and employer mandates, there would be nothing in place to compel people to comply.
What can’t be removed by this process are the parts of the law that, for example, allows adult children to stay on their parent’s health plan until age 26.
On January 12, 2017, the Senate approved a budget resolution that sets the stage for parts of the ACA to be either repealed or unenforceable. This is expected to also be approved by the House this week, but there are still big questions about how and when certain ACA pieces will be replaced.
At this point we just have to wait and see what comes in the next few weeks. Until we know for sure which parts of the ACA are being adjusted and whether they are being replaced with something new or not, it is difficult to predict what the impact will be to our clients and our medical plan. A Plus Benefits will be staying on top of this information and will provide details as they become available.