Trump Hints at Withholding Exchange Subsidies to Prompt ACA’s Decline

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Following the House of Representatives’ failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump has promised that the repealing and replacing law is still one of his top priorities, and also hinted at hastening its demise by withholding the premium subsidies the government pays to health exchanges. Essentially, if he follows through and creates the regulatory environment to make withholding the subsidies possible, the health care exchanges would collapse under their own weight as insurers pull out en masse. In addition, already it’s unclear how serious the IRS under Trump will be about collecting penalties from applicable large employers…
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GOP Releases Legislation to Gut and Replace ACA

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House Republicans have filed legislation that would repeal most of the Affordable Care Act, including measures to eliminate the employer and individual mandates. But from the get-go the legislation – backed by the House leadership – was panned by the GOP’s conservative wing, which said it doesn’t go far enough to completely get rid of the ACA, casting doubt on the prospects of it getting passed. And Congressional Democrats immediately voiced their absolute opposition to the bill, vowing to vote ‘No’ on the legislation. While passage in the House would be a bit easier, the slim 51-49 vote edge that…
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What Does President Trump’s Executive Order on ACA Mean?

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Donald Trump’s first act after assuming the presidency was to sign an executive order that authorizes federal agencies to scale back as many parts of the Affordable Care Act as possible within the confines of the law. The executive order does not abolish the landmark legislation, but sets the stage for agencies to act immediately on regulations that are deemed overly burdensome. The agencies, particularly the Department of Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will have wide latitude in making regulatory changes thanks to the broad scope of the order. But don’t expect immediate changes in…
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Trimming Hours to Avoid Employer Mandate Can Land You in Hot Water

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Ever since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, critics of the law have said that employers would cut staff or reduce workers’ hours to avoid coming under the employer mandate requiring them to provide coverage for their staff. But a decision by a federal judge not to dismiss a lawsuit against an employer for doing just that highlights the legal rat-trap that employers may open if they go that route. Workers at Dave & Buster’s, a restaurant chain, in July 2015 filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York alleging that the national restaurant chain reduced their hours…
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Metal Spectrum Plans Expected to Become the Norm

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One of the positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act is that it gives employers the chance to offer a wide range of plans that let workers pick the coverage that’s right for them. You can do this by offering “metallic spectrum plans,” each of which has different values and costs. Bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans are a way of serving a wide range of employee needs, budgets and concerns and reducing the potential of your healthiest employees buying more insurance than they may actually need. While these plans are staples in the public exchanges, they are also available…
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2016 ACA Compliance Checklist

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This is the year that the rubber really hits the road for employers with 50 or more full-time workers. The Affordable Care Act employer mandate for organizations with 50 to 99 employees takes effect this year, meaning that if you haven’t been offering your staff coverage before, you are now required to do so. There are also new reporting requirements for employers both in terms of submitting documents to the Internal Revenue Service as well as to your employees. As the New Year gets underway, read this refresher so you don’t miss a beat and expose your business to penalties….
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Top 10 Laws and Regulations Affecting Business in 2016 (Part 1)

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AS WITH every New Year, businesses are faced with a slew of new laws and regulations. We’ve condensed them into a list of the top 10 most likely to affect your operations. 1. New teeth to gender equal pay laws A new state law adds teeth to the laws on gender pay equality. Before SB 358, employees seeking to prove pay discrimination had to demonstrate that they are not paid at the same rate as someone of the opposite sex at the same establishment for “equal work.” Under the new law, the requirement of “same establishment” has been deleted, and…
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Want to Reimburse Your Staff for Health Premiums? A $36,500 per-employee Fine Lurks

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By now, most business owners know about the yearly $2,000 per-employee fine they would face for not securing health coverage for their employees under the Affordable Care Act. But there is even a larger fine that threatens under recent regulations issued by the IRS – and it’s not for failing to secure coverage. It’s for helping them secure coverage from a public exchange or open private market. And it applies to ALL employers, even those that are small enough to not be required to provide insurance for their full-time employees under the ACA’s employer mandate. The fine? Up to $36,500…
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