1. Repeal Of The Individual Mandate
The first thing to go was the ACA's individual mandate. This mandate stated that individuals were required to buy a health plan meeting certain "minimum essential coverage" requirements. Failing to do this would result in a pretty hefty tax penalty. Technically this is still in effect — it won't really be off the books until 2019. So, what does this mean for your business?
This shouldn't have a huge direct impact on your business. What it does mean is that premiums may increase slightly for individuals. In addition, the number of people insured is likely to drop precipitously. That's because many young, healthy adults will choose to forego getting insurance on the individual market. As a business, it's up to you whether this changes any of your healthcare policies.
2. Higher Affordability Threshold
The affordability threshold is meant to place limits on how much an employee has to pay towards employee-only coverage. This will be rising from 9.56% to 9.86% in 2019. This actually changes every year — it's baked into the ACA — but it's still something that you as a business should be keeping up with.
That means in 2019 you'll be able to ask employees to pay ever-so-slightly more towards their insurance while still falling under the umbrella of "affordable". Note that this doesn't mean you have to. In 2019 any contribution at or under 9.86% will be fair game for employers. This is a subtle change, but even a fraction of a percent can add up quickly when you're dealing with hundreds of employees.
3. Association Health Plan Expansions
Association Health Plans — which typically have lower premiums but provide less coverage than other plans — were somewhat curbed under the ACA. In October of 2017, the President signed an executive order extending the length of time that AHPs and allowing employees to pay for them with their health savings accounts. AHPs are an affordable way for businesses to provide coverage — albeit limited coverage — to their employees so many are welcoming these changes.
It's hard to say whether the ACA will be fully repealed or remain in its current compromised state for the foreseeable future. A repeal, along with a replacement plan, would obviously have much larger ramifications for businesses of all sizes.
At Summerlin-Roberts we leverage our expertise in cost containment to provide the best possible health benefits at the lowest possible price, resulting in happier employees and leaner budgets. For more information about providing affordable health insurance that is satisfying to employees, please, contact us today.