2017 Election Results and ACA
The 2017 Election Results and ACA is a hot topic creating buzz. With the outcome of the 2016 elections now official, the Republicans will hold the majority in both chambers of Congress and control of the White House beginning in 2017. Our posting CLINTON VS TRUMP ON HEALTHCARE was a general summary of their differences on Healthcare.
Since President-elect Trump ran on a platform of “Replace and Repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we anticipate that acting on this campaign promise will be one of the top priorities of the new Trump administration. We anticipate there will be significant disruption for individuals, employers, brokers and carriers across the country.
Republicans will likely need to use the process of Budget Reconciliation to pass legislation through the Senate, given the party did not secure enough seats to control a filibuster-proof supermajority. In other words, the legislation can pass in the Senate with a simple majority vote and not a super majority (which requires 60 votes). Reconciliation can be used to take away some, but not all, of the ACA. It is anticipated that certain provisions of the ACA would be targeted such as Medicaid expansion, the availability of subsidies and premium tax credits in the Marketplace, and the employer and individual mandate. It cannot be used to remove non-budgetary provisions (for example, insurance mandates like “to age 26”). In addition, it is conceivable that a Trump administration may simply direct various federal agencies (such as the Department of Labor) to not enforce certain ACA provisions.
The Republicans have not laid out a specific plan on what will replace the ACA. Generally, the party has supported the existing employer-based system (with some party members calling for limits on the tax exclusion). Based on published white papers on the President-elect Trump’s website, other aspects of a healthcare overhaul plan may include:
- Tax credits for purchasing individual health insurance;
- Expansion of Health Savings Accounts and HighDeductible Health Plans;
- Continuation of the prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions from health insurance;
- High risk pools;
- Interstate sales of insurance; andMedical malpractice reform.
The process to repeal and replace the ACA will take time and nothing will happen between now and the New Year. Open enrollment is currently underway in the Marketplaces across the country and it is expected that individual policies (and subsidies for lower and middle-income individuals) will be available to enrollees as of January 1, 2017. What is unknown is whether the Trump administration and subsequent legislation will affect the Marketplace and subsidies in mid-2017 or instead phase out this coverage after the 2017 calendar year.
- The employer mandate (for applicable large employers);
- Form 1094-C and 1095-C reporting for CalendarYear 2016;
- Any ACA taxes and fees for self-funded plans to pay directly (such as reinsurance fees); and
- Plan design changes applicable to plan years thatbegin on or after January 1, 2017.
In addition, all other federal law mandates impacting employer health and welfare plans such as ERISA,HIPAA, COBRA, Code Section 125, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and the Service Contract Act / Davis Bacon and Related Acts are still good law. There has been no indication that these non-ACA laws are targeted for repeal or replacement.
Stay tuned for updates as more information gets released. Sign up for latest news updates. Please contact our team on your 2017 health plan renewal at Millennium Medical Solutions Corp (855)667-4621 for immediate answers.
CLINTON VS TRUMP ON HEALTH CARE
CLINTON VS TRUMP ON HEALTHCARE
Clinton vs Trump Healthcare. A helpful overview from SHRM on the differences between the Candidates. They presumably agree on repealing the Cadillac Tax and well-needed price transparencies.
HILLARY CLINTON’S HEALTH CARE REFORM PLAN:
- Defend the Affordable Care Act. Clinton will continue to defend the ACA against Republican efforts to repeal it.
- Lower out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles. The average deductible for employer-sponsored health plans rose from $1,240 in 2002 to about $2,500 in 2013. Clinton believes that workers should share in slower growth of national health care spending through lower costs.
- Reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Prescription drug spending accelerated from 2.5 percent in 2013 to 12.6 percent in 2014. It’s no wonder that almost three-quarters of Americans believe prescription drug costs are unreasonable. Clinton believes we need to demand lower drug costs for hardworking families and seniors.
- Build on the Affordable Care Act and require plans to provide three sick visits without counting toward deductibles every year. The Affordable Care Act required nearly all plans to offer many preventive services, such as blood pressure screening and vaccines, with no cost-sharing at all. But because average deductibles have more than doubled over the past decade, many Americans would have to pay a significant cost out-of-pocket toward their deductible if they get sick and need to see a doctor. Clinton’s plan will build on the Affordable Care Act by requiring insurers and employers to provide up to three sick visits to a doctor per year without needing to meet the plan’s deductible first.
- Provide a new, progressive refundable tax credit of up to $5,000 per family for excessive out-of-pocket costs. For families that still struggle with prescription drug costs even after out-of-pocket limits on drug spending and free primary care visits, Clinton’s plan will provide progressive, targeted new relief. Americans with health coverage will be eligible for a new refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 for an individual, or $5,000 for a family, available to those with substantial out-of-pocket health care costs. The credit will be available to insured Americans with qualifying out-of-pocket health expenses in excess of five percent of their income, and who are not eligible for Medicare or claiming existing deductions for medical costs. This refundable, progressive credit will help middle-class Americans who may not benefit as much from currently-available deductions for medical expenses. This tax cut will be fully paid for by demanding rebates from drug manufacturers and asking the most fortunate to pay their fair share.
- Enforce and Broaden the ACA’s Transparency Provisions. Americans deserve real-time, updated, and reliable information to guide them in selecting a health plan, navigating changes to their out-of-pocket costs in their existing plan, choosing a doctor, and determining how much they will need to pay for a prescription drug. Clinton’s plan will vigorously enforce existing law under the Affordable Care Act and adopt further steps to make sure that employers, providers, and insurers provide this information through clear and accessible forms of communication so that Americans can make informed choices about their coverage and realize meaningful savings.
- Repeal the ACA “Cadillac Tax”
DONALD TRUMP’S HEALTH CARE REFORM PLAN:
- Repeal ACA -Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.
- Tax deductible health insurance premium payments. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. -Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty. These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.
- Price transparency. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
- Reform mental health programs. Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones. There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support.
- Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.
- Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.
Add our blog & sign up for newsletter on latest in Healthcare Reform News. Please contact us for a free evaluation on your group’s benefits at 855-667-4621.