Information from our partner Cigna contributed to this email.
On 12/2/17 the Senate passed an amended version of the House bill (passed on 11/16/17).
Health Care Reform Affected by this Bill
- The Senate bill includes a permanent repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate, beginning in 2019.
- The House bill did not have any provisions related to the individual mandate.
- Both the Senate and House bills also include a change to how tax provisions are indexed for inflation.
- It is likely that more employer-sponsored plans would trigger the tax for employers and insurers sooner.
Note: Because the Senate and House bills were not identical, there are additional steps that must take place in order for the bill to become law.
There are two paths:
1) The House could pass the Senate bill as is and send it to the President; or
2) A committee can meet to negotiate a new compromise bill.
- That compromised bill would then need to be passed by both the Senate and the House before sending it to the President for signature.
- Note: Congress and the Administration would like to pass tax reform by 12/31/17. We should expect details soon.
Because of concerns related to the repeal of the individual mandate, some senators request that two marketplace stabilization bills be brought to the floor for a vote. These are:
- Provides cost-sharing reduction payments through 2019
- Increases state flexibility with Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver enhancements
- Allows consumers over age 30 to buy catastrophic health plans (“copper” plans)
- Provides two years of reinsurance funds, totaling $4.5 billion, to help lower insurance premiums by compensating insurers for their costliest patients.
Should you have any questions regarding the Executive Order, please reach out to your FosterThomas benefits account manager or customer service representative.