3/29/17 Now more than ever – we must continue to build our strategies to control cost on both Medical and Pharmacy!
Last Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled a vote that would have undone Obamacare. It would have delayed the ACA’s excise tax until 2026, eliminate the penalty for the employer mandate retroactive to 2016 and make other important ACA changes. Republicans could not come to consensus and it was unlikely to reach the 216 votes necessary to pass, even with the Republicans having the majority. Many Republicans stated they could not support the bill and were seeking additional concessions to drive down premiums and address the predicted loss of coverage for millions of Americans under the newly proposed plan. It was not a “well-thought out” piece of legislation and would have left younger Americans with no financial means to purchase insurance on the exchanges with lower or no subsidies. It would have further eroded the already failing plan options on the state exchanges. Congress will need to enact reform quickly to ensure there are viable coverage options on the existing exchanges over the next 6-12 months.
House speaker Paul Ryan stated in a press conference on Tuesday, that the legislation would be continued and concessions made to bring the bill back to the House floor in the near future for a vote. For now, they have put aside the ACA reforms to focus on other issues like tax reform. The excise tax will be the focus of much discussion as it is now back on and set to take effect in 2020. This will reignite employer focus and shift strategies back to the problem of trying to reduce plan costs below the allowable thresholds of the excise tax or employers will face a 40% tax on the amount above the allowable limits for each of their employees. If left unchanged, this tax will affect the 150 million Americans who rely on employer-sponsored health coverage.
You are all invited to my “20 Minute Power Lunch” webinar series beginning April 5th at 12:00 pm est. They will be held every first Wednesday of the month to bring you up to date on the healthcare landscape and how it will effect employers; your plans and your strategies! Invite and registration info coming soon!!