26 January 2017
Obamacare – what upcoming changes under Trump could mean for you
Trump’s executive order to roll back Obamacare:
What could happen, and how this could impact your business
So, what’s happened?
Newly inaugurated President Trump wasted no time in making good on his promise to create the framework for a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In his first days as President of the United States, he signed an Executive Order to begin the dismantling of the healthcare law. While the President cannot repeal the law single-handedly, he can mandate that the agencies he oversees, namely the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS, do not enforce the law or its respective penalties.
Now in its 4th effective year, the ACA, referred to by many as “ObamaCare”, created as many downsides as it did upsides. It was passed with the goal of increasing affordable healthcare coverage for millions of Americans. However, the law did have some unintended consequences for individuals and employers, resulting in increased premiums and higher deductible health plans.
What does this mean for me and my business?
So far, all indications of proposed changes point to a direction that relieves the burden of the ACA on employers. Specifically, with less regulation around the type of healthcare employers must provide their employees, the cost and administrative burden of administering a compliant health plan will likely be reduced.
What’s the potential changes?
A replacement to ACA is yet to be formalized, it’s likely that it will be a phased transition period. Vice President Mike Pence has mentioned a focus on, ‘an orderly transition… to a market-based health care economy’. Trump has tried to ease concerns raised that the 20 million who gained healthcare cover under Obamacare may no longer be insured by stating that the new plan will be ‘insurance for everybody’. It’s not entirely clear how this change will be supported but there’s also been mention of:
- Provision of tax credits to consumers
- Ability for smaller businesses to access ‘association health plans’
- Removal of the penalties applied to individuals without healthcare cover
- Lower deductibles
- Increased use of personal health savings accounts to supplement premiums
- Providing individual states more power to set their own individual insurance standards
- Targeting pharmaceutical companies to reduce their prices, thus reducing healthcare costs
PGC will keep you updated of impact on your workers:
The burden and cost on employers to maintain compliance may change after the replacement. While the repeal and replacement of ACA is potentially months away, for now it’s likely it won’t be patrolled or penalties enforced due to the Order. Still, until Congress votes to fully repeal the ACA, individuals and employers are bound by the ACA mandate. PGC will continue to keep you informed of any impact to your business and workforce as updates are announced.