The Affordable Care Act: Are You Feeling That 7 Year Itch
Being in the insurance industry, some days I truly feel as though I am in a relationship with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as it has clearly morphed into an immense entity.
March 23rd marked the 7 year anniversary for the ACA. The ACA has been quite the rollercoaster for employers, employees, and those in the benefits world. From allowing adult children to be covered on parents’ medical plans until age 26 to providing medical coverage without having to answer intrusive medical questions to requiring large employers to adhere to a multitude of rules to offer ACA compliant coverage to their employees, it has been overwhelming to say the least.
Despite your political stand, you can argue over what the positive and negative aspects of the law have been. Regardless, it has been an undertaking requiring all hands on deck.
Among the many proposed replacement proposals for the ACA, on the 7 year anniversary, we nearly saw a repeal and replace of ACA through the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Some of the changes under AHCA included a repeal of the individual and employer mandate retroactive to December 31, 2015, enhanced health savings accounts (HSAs), modified tax credits, and a delay of the Cadillac Tax (40% excise tax) even further from 2020 to 2025. The AHCA would have maintained the prohibition on both pre-existing condition exclusions and lifetime benefit limits, as well as continuing to allow coverage for adult children to age 26.
Without the required votes needed to pass AHCA, the bill was pulled and further tweaks were later made to the proposal. And there continue to be talks of changes in the works.
In the meantime, we need to proceed with the ACA assuming business as usual, complying with all aspects of the law. However, I expect the new administration will keep many of us on the edge of our seats with daily changes.
Given the lack of a clear future for the ACA, I found this rather fitting.
“Uncertainty is one of government recipes.”
― Toba Beta, Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza