By: Ben Clevenger, Client Services, Michigan Planners

Will the change in administrations really make a difference in healthcare reform? That’s the million-dollar question being asked by families, employers, and Americans throughout the country.

It’s been nearly seven years since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.  Since then, businesses have been impacted in the areas of reporting requirements, coverage offerings, premium adjustments, and taxes.

As a replacement to “Obamacare,” “Trumpcare” seems unlikely to some, yet promising to others.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the legislation seeks to address the following elements:

  • Individual Penalties: Fees for being uninsured will be removed.  As a replacement, those uninsured 63 or more days may see increased premiums.
  • Employer Penalties: Tax penalties for large employers (50 or more FTE) that don’t provide coverage will be eliminated.
  • Subsidies: Refundable tax credits, based on age and family size, will replace Obamacare’s subsidies.  The tax credits will help anyone under 30 years old with $2,000/year and anyone over 60 years old with $4,000/year (family size determines amount, with a cap of $14,000/year).
  • Plan Design Requirements: By 2020, the metal-tiered plan design requirements (Bronze to Platinum) will disappear.

The legislation seeks to repeal and replace a number of elements comprising the current inforce Obamacare.  While the adjustments seem positive, with change comes the possibility of some negative consequences.  For example, if enforcement of the individual mandate goes away, insurers could raise premiums out of fear of losing healthy enrollees.

The best plan of attack is to understand the Affordable Care Act’s current requirements, while keeping a pulse on the proposed bill in the House of Representatives.  While the bill has made it out of the committee, it faces an uphill battle on the House floor before heading to the Senate for committee review.

The saying “one size fits all” may work for winter hats, but for global health coverage, let’s not get our hopes up.

Michigan Planners is a statewide employee benefits agency with more than 50 years of experience.  With offices located in Washington Township and Traverse City, they serve as a long-term strategic partner in the design, implementation and management of employer sponsored benefits.