The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made a number of significant changes to group health plans since the law was enacted in 2010. Many of these key reforms became effective in 2014 and 2015, including health plan design changes, increased wellness program incentives and the employer shared responsibility penalties. Certain changes to some ACA requirements take effect in 2018 for employers sponsoring group health plans, such as increased dollar limits. To prepare for 2018, employers should review upcoming requirements and develop a compliance strategy.This ACA Overview provides an ACA compliance checklist for 2018. Please contact CIBC of Illinois for assistance or if you have questions about changes that were required in previous years.
The US Senate has reached an agreement to restore the cost-sharing reduction subsidies that were removed by President Trump's Executive Order last week. This means that insurance companies will still be paid for the cost-sharing for the remainder of 2017 and into 2018 if this bill becomes law. Interesting to note though, is that many insurance companies figured their individual rates for 2018 assuming that these subsidies would not be in place. Whether or not the rates will be re-calculated at this late date is yet to be seen. One thing is for sure, the indecision in the market will likely lead to higher rates as insurers insulate themselves from potential loss of revenue in the future. Trust me when I say, the individual market is not a comfortable place at this time. High premiums for low selection of weak plans is a recipe for disaster.
Senate Reaches Bi-Partisan Deal on CSR Subsidies
Trump Executive Order
This morning you may be reading about an Executive Order signed by President Trump eliminating "subsidies" on the ACA. It is important to note that there are 2 kinds of ACA subsidies: Premium Subsidies, and Cost-Sharing Subsidies. The Executive Order eliminates the Cost-Sharing Subsidies only. The Cost-Sharing Subsidies are utilized by about 7 million Americans who are enrolled in ACA plans. These subsidies help lower the out-of-pocket costs for those who qualify. The more prominant subsidies are the Premium Subsidies which help ACA enrollees pay their monthly premium. This Executive Order does not affect these subsidies.
Nevertheless, this Order is a major blow to the ACA individual Marketplace system of subsidized insurance. Now we must wait to see how insurance companies react to having these subsidies removed.