Must Employers Continue To Comply With The Affordable Care Act? Has Anything Changed?
Insight & Impact - Labor & Employment Regulatory Newsletter 05/30/17 John Barlament
ISSUE: As has been widely reported, the Republicans control all levels of legislative power in the federal government. After striking out in their first attempt to modify the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"), Republicans scored a victory on May 4, 2017 when the House of Representatives narrowly approved an amended version of the American Health Care Act ("AHCA"). The AHCA would repeal certain key provisions of the ACA, but faces an uncertain future. The AHCA is currently under review by the Senate and may be revised significantly (or replaced altogether with the Senate's own healthcare bill). (See our webinar content here: http://www.quarles.com/john-l-barlament/events/impact-of-the-trump-administrations-policy-shifts-on-employee-benefit-plans/ for details on Republican healthcare proposals over the past few years.) The AHCA has a long road ahead of it, and it is not clear when (or if) it will become law. The AHCA has no immediate impact on employers.
President Trump has also issued several broad executive orders. The executive orders are meant to lessen the impact of the ACA and decrease the number of regulations the federal government issues. Because the orders were so broad, their exact impact remains to be seen. The federal agencies have not taken much action yet because of the orders.
Read more Insight & Impact from May 2017:
- Developments with the Department of Labor's Proposed Overtime Regulations: What's Going On?
- NLRB Affirms Decision Requiring Employers to Allow Employees to Use Work Email for Union Purposes . . . For Now
- OSHA’s New Walking-Working Surfaces Standard Imposes Significant New Requirements on Employers
- Immigration Document Retention and Storage Requirements
IMPACT: Employers should take the following steps:
- Ensure compliance with existing ACA regulations. Right now they are all still in effect -- nothing has changed. None is perhaps more pressing than using the newly-updated summary of benefits and coverage ("SBC"). The new SBC template must be used for plan years starting on and after April 1, 2017. See the details here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/affordable-care-act/for-employers-and-advisers/summary-of-benefits.
- Monitor the progress of the AHCA (and watch for other legislative changes) as Congress continues to work on modifying the ACA.
- Monitor other regulatory changes. The IRS and DOL are likely to modify the existing ACA regulations, to some extent. Presumably those changes will be favorable to employers and plan sponsors. But right now there is no clear indication of what will change.
For more information, please contact your local Quarles & Brady attorney or this members of our employee benefits group:
- John Barlament: (414) 277-5727 / [email protected]