Wednesday, September 27, 2017

No Vote - No Repeal of Obamacare

By Coleen Elkins   24-7 Health Insurance

No Vote - No Repeal of Obamacare 

On September 26th 2017 Senator McConnell declined to hold a vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill which would repeal and replace parts of The Affordable Care Act. The bill did not have the support needed to pass under reconciliation rules which expire on September 30th 2017. 

What is next? 

Prior to the vote a Senate formed committee HELP (Health, Education, labor and Pensions) held bipartisan hearings to discuss “actions Congress should take to stabilize and strengthen the under 65 health insurance market” for 2018. It is possible the bipartisan committee could resume efforts to achieve their goal. 

The Republican leadership can also begin the reconciliation process over again for 2018 fiscal year. Starting the process over would require a 2018 budget resolution with the appropriate instructions for reconciliation to pass both chambers of the House and Senate. Then 2018 bills would be drafted and voted on in both chambers. An identical bill must bass both chambers before President Trump can sign it into law.

Alternatively Congress or the Administration may pursue other ways to dismantle, replace or reform the ACA including regulatory action, non-enforcement or other options. 

In the meantime ACA Remains the Law of the Land

Ongoing compliance with the ACA is required unless and until official guidance to the contrary is issued. 

2018 brings new challenges particularly for employer groups with the implementation of the Cadillac tax, HRA, HSA and FSA funding parameters and more. 

We recommend individuals purchasing their own plans without a tax credit use the website exemption tool to determine if they may qualify for an exemption from Obamacare for 2017. The exemption could avoid penalties for those that qualify. The 2018 tool will not be available until next year. Your tax advisor may be able to help you file the proper exemption form at tax time. 

Insurance companies have until the end of the day today (September 27)  to report their intention to stay in the market for 2018 and if they are going to insure what they will be filing for 2018 rates. Florida already has projected a 45 percent rate increase of this years rates in 2018 for under age 65 health insurance plans. 

Open enrollment for 2018 is drastically shortened to November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Will Obamacare Really Fail? 

We are carefully following all writing regarding the future of health insurance in America.

Senator Bernie Sanders is touring the country rallying for Medicare for all. It is very doubtful Medicare for all would pass any CBO analysis.

Today we would like to share with you one of the most comprehensive articles we have received from our business partner AHCP Sales. 

By now, everyone’s heard the news: the Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have failed in the Senate. After three unsuccessful votes—first on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, then on a repeal and delay bill, then on a skinny repeal—majority leader Mitch McConnell declared on July 27 that “it’s time to move on.” For now, repeal & replace is dead, though the efforts could certainly be revived sometime in the future.

While there is much disappointment among Republicans and their supporters at this apparent failure, members of both parties are now saying that they need to work together on a bipartisan solution. Of course, time will tell whether this can really happen, but many lawmakers are saying that they’re willing to give it a try. In fact, as USA Today reports, a bipartisan Senate panel will be holding hearings on September 6th and 7th on stabilizing the individual insurance market.

Meanwhile, President Trump is calling for his party to continue with the repeal efforts; after all, he says, Republicans have promised voters for the past seven years that they have a much better plan, so they shouldn’t give up so easily. His criticism of Majority leader Mitch McConnell has also increased in the past few weeks, leading to a rift that some worry will derail the GOP’s other legislative priorities.
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