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How Will Changes to the Affordable Health Care Act Affect Your Business

 

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Government policies and regulations affect how many small businesses operate.  Not only are they often incredibly complicated, but staying in compliance can take up a great deal  of time that business owners would prefer to spend running their businesses.

Small businesses have to comply with both federal and state regulations.  This could become even more complex than anticipated, as some states have indicated they will counter the administration’s policies while others intend to  follow their lead.

As a nation, we're experiencing a moment of much regulatory change.  The good news is that small businesses don’t have to face them alone with help and guidance from a trusted advisor.

Here are the top regulatory and compliance issues small businesses will most likely face in 2017 and how they can prepare for them.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Eliminate Costly Employee Benefit Mistakes

Affordable Care Act vs. Repeal and Replace

The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) has been one of the most talked about topics since the election. Republicans have been in opposition of the law since it took effect in 2010, vowing to "repeal and replace" the law.  On March 6, 2017, Congress introduced a budget reconciliation bill with the intention of repealing portions of the ACA. This new bill, called the "American Health Care Act" (AHCA or Trumpcare), was withdrawn before a full vote. 

While we don't yet know when a new or revised bill will pass the House and Senate or exactly when the changes will take place, we've compiled a list of the points that have already been proposed. These points include: 

  • Remove the employer and individual mandates for coverage, therefore also removing the reporting requirements associated with those mandates.
  • Replace current subsidies and providing a monthly tax credit for an amount ranging from $2,000 and $14,000 a year for low and middle income individuals or families.
  • Remove taxes on presription drugs, over the counter medications, health insurance premiums, and medical devices.
  • Allow individuals and families to contribute twice as much into their tax-free Health Savings Accounts - $6,550 for individuals and $13,100 for families.
  • Insurers can impose a 30% surcharge on consumers with a lapse in coverage.
  • Delay "Cadillac" Tax until 2025.
  • Grant federal funds to states based on a per-capita basis for Medicaid.
  • Establish a Patient and State Stability Fund, which provides states with funds to design programs that meet their state's specific needs.
  • Allow individuals to deduct their health insurance premiums pre-tax.
  • Block federal funds from going to abortion providers.
  • Retain some provisions of the ACA, including no pre-existing condition exclusion, allowing adult children to remain on their parent’s plans until age 26, and no lifetime limits on individual coverage.

We've also gathered additional points mentioned for upcoming phases. They are: 

  • Allow insurance to be sold across state lines, increasing competition and lowering costs.
  • Remove barriers to entering the free market for drug providers.
  • Require price transparency for medical procedures and other health care costs.
  • Any updates to the law will likely be implemented over the next few years rather than immediately as elected officials debate how our healthcare system can improve. Until changes are made, employers should continue to comply with all existing ACA rules.

NJ Health Insurance and employee benefits can be a confusing topic.  At Links Insurance, we offer the opportunity for you to ask our specialist the questions most important to you.  We will even advise what questions you should be asking. Click here to get a free quote today!

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