Health Care Reform Resources For Employers

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Beginning in 2017, the Republican majority in Congress and the Trump administration had made repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a top priority, and  In March 2017 the House GOP leadership introduced the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as their designated bill to begin to "repeal and replace" the ACA. But the party leaders were unable to secure enough votes to pass the measure in the House, leaving the ACA in place for the foreseeable future.

Until the law and its implementing regulations are changed, either through targeted legislative actions or regulatory adjustments, employers subject to the ACA must comply with its many requirements.

House Republicans Withdraw ACA Replacement Bill;
Affordable Care Act to Remain 'Law of the Land'

House GOP leaders, with support from President Donald Trump, withdrew the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from further consideration on March 24, in a dramatic acknowledgement that they had been unable to find sufficient votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"ObamaCare will remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said during a press conference shortly after the bill was pulled. "We're going to be living with ObamaCare for the foreseeable future."

With the ACA remaining as law, employers should plan to continue complying with its wide-ranging coverage mandates and all employee tracking and reporting requirements. (See the SHRM Online article House Republicans, Short of Votes, Withdraw Health Care Bill.)

Affordable Care Act Updates

Relief Extended for 'Grandmothered' Small Group Health Plans
The Trump administration is allowing small business an extra year to renew certain older plans that don't comply with the ACA and that don't fall under the open-ended exemption for grandfathered plans.

IRS to Accept Tax Returns Lacking Health Care Status; Employer Reporting Unchanged
Although the IRS has announced it will not reject taxpayers' 2016 returns that are missing health coverage information, employers still must distribute 1095 forms to employees and report employee health coverage to IRS, as deadlines loom.

How Trump's First Executive Order Could Affect Employer Health Plans
President Donald Trump's Jan. 20 executive order directing federal agencies that oversee the Affordable Care Act to waive or delay burdensome taxes, penalties and regulations could affect employer plans' mandates and fees, but won't do so immediately.

New Law Lets Small Employers Use Stand-Alone HRAs
Enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act lets small businesses use health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to fund employees who buy individual plans on the open market. 

IRS Delays Employers' Deadline to Distribute ACA Reporting Form 1095 to Employees
The IRS is giving employers an additional 30 days to distribute the Affordable Care Act's tax year 2016 information-reporting forms to employees, extending the deadline from Jan. 31, 2017, to March 2. But the due dates for filing Forms 1094 and 1095 with the IRS remain unchanged: Feb. 28 for paper/mail submissions or March 31 for electronic filing.

SHRM Government Affairs

Health Care Public Policy and Advocacy Updates

SHRM Resources

For additional information on implementing the Affordable Care Act, SHRM members can contact the SHRM Knowledge Center.

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