White House Makes Announcements On ACA: What It All Means For Employers

Last week, the White House made two announcements regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). So, what does it mean for employers? Nothing, yet.

Here’s an overview:

PRESIDENT SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER DESIGNED TO CHANGE ACA RULES
On Oct. 12, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to change certain rules under the ACA. The order:

  • would relax regulations on association health plans;
  • could allow individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance policies across state lines and avoid certain ACA requirements; and
  • directs the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury to consider expanding the availability of low-cost short-term, limited-duration insurance and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

ACTION STEPS: None at this time. An executive order is a broad policy directive that directs federal agencies to consider new regulations or guidance to implement the order’s policies. The order does not make any changes to existing regulations. As a result, the executive order’s specific impact will remain largely unclear until agencies can issue further guidance.

WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES SOME ACA SUBSIDIES WILL END
On Oct. 12, 2017, the White House announced that it will no longer reimburse insurers for cost-sharing reductions made available to low-income individuals through the Exchanges under the ACA, effective immediately. Because Congress did not pass an appropriation for this expense, the Trump administration has taken the position that it cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments.

ACTION STEPS: None at this time. While the immediate impact of this announcement is unclear, it may significantly affect individuals who enroll through the Exchange during the upcoming Nov. 1 open enrollment period.

 

As always, we will continue to monitor the ACA and keep our clients informed of any changes. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your GKG representative.