House of Representatives to Debate ACA Employer Mandate Bill Next Week

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Since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, there has been much debate as to its details. The ACA was signed into law on March 23, 2010, and since that time, there have been over 70 changes to the law, making it look quite different than what was passed eight years ago.

Once again, more possible changes are looming for the Affordable Care Act, as members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted 222-171 to bring an Affordable Care Act employer mandate revision bill for a vote by the full House next week.

House Resolution 1059, as it is known, sets the rules of debate for what they are calling the “Save American Workers Act of 2017″ bill, which would specifically tweak the ACA employer mandate bill.

How would it affect your workplace? 

1. If approved, the new mandate tweaks would change the Affordable Care Act Employer Coverage Mandate threshold for “full-time employee” to 40 hours per week, instead of 30 hours per week.

2. The new mandate would keep ACA employer coverage mandates from applying to any month beginning after Dec. 31, 2014, and before Jan. 1, 2019.

3.  The new measure would effectively postpone the start date of the Affordable Care Act Excise Tax on high-cost health benefits packages, delaying it for one year.  It would begin Dec. 31, 2022, rather than Dec. 31, 2021, when it is currently slated to kick in.

4.  The new rule would repeal an Affordable Care Act excise tax on any indoor tanning services.

5.  Moving forward, employers would only be required to provide Form 1095 coverage statements to individuals who specifically ask for these statements, as opposed to being required to send the statements to all employees, along with recently departed employees and certain dependents on an annual basis.

Those in favor of H.R. 3798 face the challenge of finding new federal revenue, or new federal spending cuts, to offset the effects of losing Affordable Care Act employer mandate violation fees.

In a report issued on Tuesday, Analysts from the Congressional Budget Office estimated that H.R. 3798 could cut federal revenue by about $12 billion in 2019, and by about $52 billion over the period from 2019 through 2028.

 According to CBO analysts, the delay in the effective date of the employer mandate along with the change in the definition of full-time worker could cost the government about $46 billion in revenue over the 10-year period starting in 2019.

 Stay tuned as we learn more about the outcome!  For more compliance news, check out our blog at Garnett-Powers.com/blog.