The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes an excise tax, called the Cadillac tax, scheduled to take effect in 2018. It was created in response to Congress’s notion that the unlimited, tax-free nature of healthcare causes inefficiencies and increased healthcare costs. The tax will be levied against employers who offer benefits programs that are deemed too excessive. Its intended purpose is to slow the growth of healthcare costs, and generate revenue to balance out the ACA’s hefty $1 trillion price tag.
The IRS has been in a comment period regarding the Cadillac tax and is currently in a review process of the copious amounts of comments it has received. Among the comments, the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB) “urges the IRS to keep in mind the overarching policy goals of the ACA, the potential adverse consequences of the tax for employees and their families, and the potential financial and administrative challenges for employers that seek to comply with the various (and sometimes competing) pieces of the ACA.” Read more…
Since the law originally passed in 2010, many Americans have been closely watching the changing political environment to see what changes happen with the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). Employers are watching Washington with an invested interest to see what rules they will need to comply with and which rules might change.
The most recent midterm election resulted in a swing of control to the GOP. Clients are asking what impact this change might have on attempts to repeal the ACA. Regardless of the GOP’s dominance in Congress and in the House of Representatives, WGA believes that Obamacare is not going away anytime soon. Read more…
Last week’s events in Washington D.C. may affect PPACA as we now know it.
Most notable was the fact that Election Day turned most of the country into a sea of red leaving pundits to speculate on the future of PPACA. Will it prevail? Even with a GOP-controlled Congress, getting any legislation to completely overhaul PPACA through the President would be wishful thinking. Perhaps the most disconcerting is the Supreme Court’s recent decision to hear a new challenge to PPACA. Here we go again….what could this mean for employers? While it’s unlikely that we’ll see many fundamental changes for employer-provided benefit plans, it doesn’t mean there won’t be minor tweaks to the law and how its provisions are applied.
We had a couple of minor but unexpected changes already reminding us that the law’s provisions can change on a dime. First, after employers were scrambling to comply, it was announced Read more…
For more than four years, the cries from Republicans have been a monotone of “Repeal” when it comes to Obamacare. That changed recently, and very quietly. Will this portend more compromise in order to make Obamacare work better or is it an aberration?
The case, outlined here in the Boston Globe on April 7, 2014, is a story of hushed-up legislation passed recently. The change, driven by business groups, eliminated the caps on deductibles for small group policies sold by health insurance exchanges from a $2000 per individual/$4000 family limit, thus allowing higher options that are often popular with smaller employers. Republicans supported the change because it gives more choice to employers. President Obama signed it into law without comment, either.
Over the past few months, many of our clients have asked about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the future of the law over the next few months and years. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether or not “Obamacare” is here to stay.
While there’s no definitive answer to this question, it appears more and more likely that the new health care law is not going away.
Among the many reasons that state leaders believe the ACA will remain in place are two key points:
- Many states have already begun implementing the law and providing coverage, meaning a full repeal of the law would be complicated at best, if not impossible.
- The law seems to be gaining traction and enrollments are on the rise. Nearly 3.3 million Read more…
The folks at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) are at it again. Their latest number crunching, released Tuesday, February 4th, produced a projection that PPACA will will result in a decline of the workforce by 2 million full-time equivalent workers in 2017. This is a significant jump from their last estimate of only 800,000 fewer full-time equivalent workers due to the PPACA. Adding to those alarming estimates, total hours worked is also expected to decline between 1.5 and 2 percent from 2017 to 2024. Depending on which side of the aisle you fall, the ‘spin’ leads to some differing conclusions. Republicans are concerned that fewer people in the workforce could hurt the economy. Obama claims that PPACA is providing a choice to those who previously didn’t have one – these workers, he claims, are simply choosing to work less. Read more…
The healthcare.gov website and the various state-run marketplaces saw more than 2 million individuals enroll in private health plans by the end of 2013. In addition 1.6 million enrollees were identified as Medicaid-eligible. This is an impressive result despite the rocky launch of the federal website when it went live in October.
In a recent report the government provided some insight as to the demographics of enrollees. Some interesting highlights from the data include:
- Subsidy – 79% of the enrollees received some form of subsidy when they signed up
- Gender – 54% of enrollees were women and 46% were men
- Coverage – 60% selected a silver level plan and 20% selected a bronze level plan
Perhaps the most concerning data comes from the predominant advanced age bracket Read more…