IRS in Full Swing on ACA Compliance Despite Uncertainty

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Despite the lull in activity in Washington on the future of the Affordable Care Act and the threats by President Trump to sink the law by not enforcing regulations, the IRS is in full swing in ensuring compliance. The agency in August released new draft IRS forms for use by applicable large employers (ALEs – or companies with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees) to report health insurance information for their workers. The agency also released the filing schedule for reporting employee health insurance data as required by the ACA for the 2017 tax year. Furthermore, the IRS…
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ACA Repeal Plan Is Dead; So What Should You Do?

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Now that the American Health Care Act has suffered a defeat in Congress and President Trump has said he’ll move on to other matters, the Affordable Care Act will stand as the law of the land. The big question hanging over the law, however, is the executive order that Trump signed shortly after taking office in January. While that order did not abolish the legislation, it set the stage for agencies to act immediately on regulations that are deemed overly burdensome. However, the administration has not indicated what it will do now that the AHCA has ground to a halt….
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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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Republicans Consider Axing Tax Exclusion on Employer-sponsored Plans

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As work on trying to overhaul the Affordable Care Act continues, lawmakers are considering a bold and what would likely be a controversial move to eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health benefits. The amount of taxes that are not collected as a result of the exclusion amounts to about $216 billion a year according to the Tax Policy Center, and is therefore a significant pool of untapped funds. The current exclusion has its roots dating back to World War II when the government ordered that wages be frozen and tax-free health insurance be available. The notion of now taxing…
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Republicans Consider Fixing ACA, Not Repealing It

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The steamroller everyone expected from President Trump and the GOP-led Congress to flatten the Affordable Care Act has been put on idle and what was a promised quick outright repeal has morphed into a plan to “repair” the law. In particular, Republican lawmakers, huddling while trying to devise a repeal-and-replace plan, have instead found that it won’t be so easy, unless they want to cut off millions of people from the health insurance they have purchased on exchanges. They are most concerned with the political fallout should that happen, not to mention the fact that a repeal would also do…
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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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Be Prepared for Changing ACA Landscape

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With president-elect Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, employers that have spent the last few years preparing for and complying with the law have a right to be concerned about what’s in store. While leaders in Congress have promised to swiftly put an end to the ACA, it’s not clear how fast it would happen, if at all, and what, if anything, would replace it. Blue Cross/Blue Shield recently issued an alert about what its policy team had learned and is anticipating.   Administration moves Blue Cross/Blue Shield noted that three executive actions could…
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‘Cadillac Tax’ Delay Gives Employers Relief

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Employers and their staff will get some relief for another few years from the impending “Cadillac” health insurance tax after Congress approved a delay as part of the budget deal it approved. President Obama has said he will not veto the new budget, which means that the excise tax will not take effect until 2020, instead of 2018. While some analysts predict that the delay is a precursor to an outright repeal of the tax, benefits experts say it is unlikely to dampen ongoing efforts by employers to rein in their health insurance costs. Under the Affordable Care Act, the…
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