Two (2) legislative proposals have been introduced in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s 40 percent excise tax on high value, employer sponsored health care plans. These bills join similar measures pending in the House, teeing up this bipartisan issue for possible action in 2016. These bills in the Senate have bi-partisan support with the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2015 being sponsored by both a Republican and a Democrat as well as the American Worker Health Care Tax Relief Act of 2015 being solely sponsored by a Democrat from Ohio. In addition to calling for a repeal of the excise tax, this bill includes legislative text stating that the revenue loss resulting from the repeal of the excise tax should be offset in some way to insure that the ACA continues to reduce the deficit while improving health coverage for millions of Americans. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the ACA excise tax provision will generate $91 billion over 10 years.
***Total premium paid by employer and employee (but not deductibles, coinsurance or co-pays if paid for with after tax dollars) for medical and prescription drug coverage;
***Dental and vision coverage, if not stand-alone plans;
***A wellness program or onsite medical clinic that provides more than de minimis benefits (such as workplace health, flu shots and care only to employees) and an employee assistance program (EAP);
***Employer and employee contributions to health flexible spending account (health FSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) and health savings account (HSA), except for after-tax employee HAS contributions.
For the average business, the IRS has developed a ‘new’ website that gives details regarding all of the new forms that are needed for compliance for the Affordable Care Act from an employer and individual perspective. The following forms are available through the Internal Revenue Service:
***Forms: 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C
***Instructions are also available for the above notated forms.
There are explanations on the website altering previously noted directives and giving clarification for others. Being an employer with the ACA is complicated under any situation.
But….and a big ‘but’….is that health insurance administration has never been smooth sailing for anyone….(and, yes, I have some wonderful stories to tell about administering health insurance plans for a certain employer who used trust fund monies from their employees and engaged in wage theft in order to maintain a suburban Philadelphia lifestyle that would have only been possible by a ‘denominational’ income) and the upshot is that the Affordable Care Act may have made health insurance more affordable for the masses but it certainly added a complicated burden to the life of the benefits’ administrator.
The extra tasks of calculating employee hours to determine eligibility for health insurance, the integration of ‘new’ and ‘different’ health plans into existing programs and the tracking of costs associated with the Affordable Care Act are all sufficient reasons for businesses to denounce the program as a whole, however, the individuals that have had their lives altered by this program is staggering and each business is ‘doing its part’ to follow the rules.
The above is a minor and very short summary of new items in the ACA repertoire for businesses both large and small. Please take a look on the Kaiser Foundation web site for cost comparisons for all states between 2015 and 2016. If you would like additional information regarding administering the new health care laws for your business, please contact Rosanne Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 484-798-1236.