On March 6, 2017, the American Health Care Act ("AHCA"), a proposal to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, was introduced. The proposal is of course subject to amendment (and almost certainly will undergo some amendments), but in its current form, it would ease the burden that the ACA placed on employers. In brief, the AHCA retroactively removes the Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate as of 2016, meaning that employers with 50 or more employees will no longer be subject to penalties for failing to offer affordable coverage to full-time employees and their dependents, and would not be penalized if they failed to do so in 2016. However, and somewhat surprisingly, the AHCA does not remove the employer reporting requirements - meaning that large employers and employers who sponsor self-funded health plans would still be responsible for completing Forms 1094 and 1095.
For the time being, the Affordable Care Act is still in effect - and, given the criticism the AHCA received from both Democrats and Republicans, it is impossible to know when (or if) that will change. We should know more about the AHCA in the coming weeks, but until we do, employers should continue complying with the ACA. Questions? Suggestion for a future ACA FAQ of the Month? Please contact Wessels Sherman Attorney Peter E. Hansen at (630) 377-1554, or email [email protected].