What is the future of Obamacare, now that Donald Trump is slated to become America’s 45th president? Every employer wants to know.
Unfortunately, what the Trump healthcare plan will look like is largely speculation at this point. Although Trump and the ACA were big news during the campaign, he did not specifically address the ACA Employer Mandate.
But Donald Trump is unabashedly pro-business, and corporate opponents of the Affordable Care Act have long claimed that it’s expensive, cumbersome and stifles job growth.
Will President Trump loosen or abolish the Employer Mandate? No more required healthcare plans? No more 1094s and 1095s?
We simply don’t know. But by reviewing what we do know about Trump and the ACA, we may see where we’re headed.
Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act…or Revise It?
Throughout the campaign, Trump promised to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act on day one—a statement still posted at DonaldTrump.com.
But less than a week after he was elected, following a meeting with President Obama, Trump indicated in a televised interview that he’d like to retain parts of the ACA, including coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing children stay on their parents’ plan until age 26.
But the ACA is a highly-complex creation composed of interdependent rules and provisions. If some provisions are kept and others are not, how will it hold together?
Tom Price’s Appointment and the ACA
Just when it looked like Trump was softening his stance on the future of Obamacare, he appointed Georgia Congressman, Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Price, a former surgeon, is one of the ACA’s most vocal critics. He has proposed a dramatically different alternative, the Empowering Patients First Act.
Price’s plan does not include the Employer Mandate.
It does include a cap on employer tax exclusions of healthcare premiums ($8,000 per individual/$20,000 per family). It abolishes the looming Cadillac tax, a 40 percent excise tax on high-value premiums. Experts feel this combination would benefit employers.
Price’s plan also allows employers to grant employees pretax dollars to choose either an employer-sponsored or individual plan, promoting a defined contribution healthcare approach that offers advantages to employers.
Because Trump never outlined a specific plan, many assume the Trump healthcare plan will be based on an existing Republican proposal. Could this be it?
Where the Affordable Care Act Stands Now
By appointing Price, Trump has signaled that he is serious in his intentions to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. But it can’t simply be repealed without causing a catastrophic loss of health insurance to 22 million Americans.
Whatever the Trump healthcare plan will be, it will take time. Experts speculate that we’re unlikely to see replacement legislation and enforcement for two or three years, at least.
Meet Your 2016 ACA Reporting Requirements
In the meantime, employers need to maintain ACA compliance. As 2016 winds down, the reporting deadlines loom:
ACA Report Form Due Date (2016 Tax Year)
Forms 1095-B & 1095-C to employees 3/2/17 (extended from 1/31/17)
Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C & 1095-C to IRS (paper filing) 2/28/17
Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C & 1095-C to IRS (electronic filing*) 3/31/2017
*Employers filing 250 or more returns must file electronically.
If you’re struggling with this year’s Affordable Care Act requirements, let EPAY Systems handle them for you next year. Our unified human capital management solution includes a comprehensive ACA Compliance and Reporting package. Your dedicated ACA specialist will monitor your compliance and ensure your ACA reports are prepared and submitted accurately and promptly.
And whatever the future holds regarding the Affordable Care Act, we’ll help you stay ahead of it. See a demonstration today!