- The long-awaited GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act made its public debut Monday evening. Unlike the original draft, the current bill does not tax employer-provided plans and allows employers to retain tax exclusion for premiums paid on such plans.
- The plan involves a series of income-based tax credits to help people buy care and keeps a slew of taxes in place to pay for it. The Cadillac tax remains in place as well, though it is delayed until 2025.
- The individual and employer mandates — some of the least popular parts of the ACA, according to Politico — are also gone from this version of the bill. Members of two House commitees will begin the markup process on Wednesday.
The bill provides relief to employers in that they retain their tax exclusion status after all. The repeal of the employer mandate may be good news for smaller employers as well, though most large employers offer generous health benefits in order to retain talent anyway.
While the continued delay of the Cadillac tax is likely a slight relief, the tax still hovers as a potential guillotine to healthcare affordability for employers. As the bill continues through the process, new solutions for the Cadillac tax may yet appear. But for now, the tax seems to be pushed off the table of discussion.
There's no word yet on reporting requirements, but experts have recently said that it is unlikely reporting requirements would change much, if at all. In the meantime, employers should continue to consider healthcare affordability plans and educate employees on how to choose the best benefits for them.