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Healthcare and ACA Expectations with President Trump

12/16/2016

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What to be Prepared for in 2017 with ACA

President-elect Donald Trump will become the 45th U.S. president when he's sworn into office on Friday, January 20. In addition to the President-elect, the new Vice President-elect, Mike Pence, will be sworn in at the U.S. Capitol. 

During the campaign tour, Trump and the Republican Party made many promises with the American people - healthcare being one of the main issues. Many things may be up in the air as to what will actually happen and when, but based on the issues brought up during the campaign and debates, here’s a few things you can expect when Trump becomes President.

Trump and the GOP leaders wish to amend the ACA (or Obamacare). There is support in keeping in tact a few of the regulations put into place by the original ACA, such as the pre-existing conditions limit that doesn’t let insurers deny coverage and allowing children and young adults to stay on their parents’ healthcare insurance plans until they reach age 26. In place of the full ACA, the leaders are still working on creating a plan that all can agree upon and passed through the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. The reform and new policy “will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable, and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans,” according to Trump’s healthcare reform site.

Employer Mandate 

At this time, organizations with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees are required to offer affordable, minimum essential health coverage to at least 95% of this group. If this is not met, employers have to pay a penalty. Individual mandate requires adults without insurance to apply for an ACA-compliant policy, and, if this isn’t met, will have to pay a tax penalty. Two things might happen: 

  1. The definition of a full-time employee could potentially change. Currently, it’s an employee who works 30 or more hours a week. The Republican Party has announced that it’s thinking about changing the definition to an employee who works 40 hours a week. This allows employers to decide how they want to cover the 30- to 40-hour working employees from a business standpoint.
  2. The Employer Mandate could be removed altogether, which allows employers to decide what they want to offer to their employees for health insurance. The Individual Mandate could be repealed altogether, too, which takes away the requirement of purchasing insurance at all. 

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

During the campaign, Trump and his team proposed increasing the flexibility of HSAs, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). They want to increase the amount an individual can contribute to these accounts, increase the options of how one can use the funds, and allow any member of the family to access these funds without penalty. 

There are many other reforms proposed during the campaign that could effect programs such as:

  • Wellness program initiatives
  • Mental health programs and institutions
  • A block-grant Medicaid program

Though these changes are on the horizon, they are not final. Organizations should continue to stay compliant within current healthcare regulations. We encourage you to stay updated on ACA and other healthcare news. We are always here to help if you have questions.