Important Healthcare Announcement: Executive Order on Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Important Healthcare Announcement: Executive Order on Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Note: The EO provides guidance and makes one immediate change to Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) Payments following the 10/6/17 Interim Final Rule on contraceptive coverage. Review the summarized points below. We encourage you to also read the EO to understand the timelines for considering proposing regulations and revising guidance.

On 10/12/17, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) meant to update health insurance rules related to small businesses, short-term health insurance policies and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs).

Also on Oct. 12, 2017, the White House announced it would immediately discontinue Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments to insurers. This comes on the heels of the 10/6/17 announcement regarding contraceptive coverage. Effective immediately, employers may exclude coverage for contraceptive services based on moral or religious objections. These are seen as efforts to modify or eliminate certain parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The goal of this EO:

  • Focus on promoting competition in healthcare markets
    • Example: expand access to Association Health Plans (AHPs) that will allow small businesses to purchase insurance collectively across state lines.
      • These would follow large group ACA mandates, no longer falling under small group rules.
    • Update rules on short-term duration insurance. These policies will not be required to follow several ACA mandates including, but not limited to:
      • Essential Health Benefits (EHBs)
      • Prohibiting annual limits
      • Offering coverage for pre-existing conditions
    • Limitations for dependent children coverage, and lifetime or annual limits could change under this EO.
    • Limit excessive consolidation throughout the healthcare system
    • Consider ways to expand the flexibility of HRAs such as:
      • Make employer HRA contributions tax deductible
      • Allow HRA funds to be used for premium reimbursement
      • Allow HRAs to be used in conjunction with non-group coverage

Ongoing Compliance with the ACA is still required unless and until any official guidance is issued.

Should you have any questions regarding the Executive Order, please reach out to your FosterThomas benefits account manager or customer service representative.

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FosterThomas is a leading professional services company that provides solutions in the areas of Human Resources Consulting and Outsourcing, HR Staffing, Outsourced Recruiting, Employee Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Implementation and Services, HR for Government Contractors, Business Insurance, HR Compliance and Risk Management. We help organizations by providing solutions designed with a focus on cost containment strategies and increasing HR efficiency. FosterThomas HR Consulting was established in 1993 with offices in Annapolis, Maryland (Corporate), McLean, Virginia and Raleigh, North Carolina. Today, FosterThomas occupies a unique position as a full service provider of HR services.

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