Last week, Senate Republicans unveiled draft legislation to move toward repealing portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The draft health care bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, was hatched behind closed doors without public committee hearings or debate, in response to concerns raised by the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed by the slimmest of margins on May 4, 2017. The bill faces an uphill battle as several Republican senators have already come out in opposition to the draft bill, conservatives have criticized the bill not going far enough to repeal the ACA and moderates are uneasy about the impact severe cutbacks to the Medicaid system will have on their constituents. Senator Mitch McConnell has vowed to bring the draft bill to a vote this week before Congress recesses for the Fourth of July holiday.

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On Monday March 6, 2017, the House Republican leadership in the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees unveiled their signature bill to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) is an effort to make good on President Trump’s promise to dismantle the ACA. Democrats are united in their opposition to the AHCA and other stakeholders have also come out against the bill – while the proposed legislation is subject to modification as it is marked up in committee and debated in Congress, certain provisions of the AHCA, if enacted, will be of particular importance to employers and provide the framework for a strategic road map as employers plan and design future health care benefits for their employees.

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In the aftermath of the recent election of Donald Trump as president of the United States and the Republicans’ retention of control over both the House and the Senate, many are beginning to assess the impact of a Republican controlled Congress and presidency on the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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This article was published on CFO.com, November 16, 2016.

This year’s Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress featured a presentation by Susan Nash that addressed the many shapes and sizes of wellness programs today. Programs are typically designed to promote health and to educate employees about prevention, but some are disease management oriented, while others are designed to improve the general overall health of an employee population.

Presentation focal points included:

  • HIPAA Nondiscrimination Rules
  • Tri-Agency Guidance under ACA on Wellness Programs
  • Americans with Disabilities Act and GINA
  • EEOC Enforcement of ADA and Final Regulations
  • Internal Revenue Code Limitations

View presentation slides.

Recent year-end delays to important Affordable Care Act requirements have given employers and other stakeholders much needed reprieve. President Obama signed into law a two-year delay of the Cadillac Tax on December 18, 2015.

This two-year delay is part of Congress’s $1.8 trillion omnibus spending deal, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016. In addition, the IRS recently announced a delay in health information reporting requirements for 2015 Forms 1094 and 1095.

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Effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, an excise tax of 40 percent will be imposed on the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage that exceeds an annual limit. This tax is informally known as the “Cadillac Tax” and will impose a penalty on employers, health insurers and “persons who administer plan benefits” with regard to high-cost health care coverage.

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