House approves Obamacare replacement: What the ACA’s demise would mean for business

On May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a., Obamacare. If passed by the Senate, the replacement bill would have an affect on both individuals and businesses. Called the AHCA, the American Health Care Act, here’s how it would work (links and summaries from Kaiser Health News):

  • Children can remain on parents’ policy through age 26

    From the Washington Post: What is in the Republican health-care bill? Questions and answers on preexisting conditions, Medicaid and more. Would this affect the number of people with insurance in the United States? Does the bill treat domestic violence, sexual assault, Caesarean section and postpartum depression as preexisting conditions? Would adult children (up to age 26) still be able to remain on a parent’s health plan?

  • Medicaid expansion rollback

    From the New York Times: The House health care bill would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, eliminate tax penalties for people who do not have health insurance and end taxes on certain high-income people, insurers, drug companies and manufacturers of medical devices to finance the current health law.

  • Penalties for uninsured

    From Politico: The legislation expunges Obamacare’s unpopular individual and employer mandates requiring most Americans to have health insurance. But in its place, the bill allows insurers to charge people who have been uninsured for about two months a 30 percent surcharge on their premiums, an incentive designed to encourage people to maintain insurance coverage.

  • Age-based tax credits

    From NPR: The House Republican plan would eliminate the income-based tax credits and subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act, replacing them with age-based tax credits ranging from $2,000 a year for people in their 20s to $4,000 a year for those older than 60.

The AHCA still has numerous hurdles to pass before becoming law, including a vote in the Senate, which may opt to draft its own version of the bill rather than passing this one. Businesses, however, should stay in close contact with their HR provider to ensure that they remain in compliance with all federal healthcare policies, regardless of changes.

While health insurance can be costly to companies, particularly small businesses and startups, working with a PEO like Stratus.hr can make benefits like health insurance more affordable for businesses of all sizes. Offering health insurance to employees can make small companies more competitive in hiring and help them retain employees, even when laws don’t require an employer to offer insurance. Wellness initiatives may also improve the health and productivity of the workforce.

obamacare replacement
If passed, the replacement for Obamacare will have an impact on businesses, too.
Laura Lancaster, PHR, SHRM-CP

Author Laura Lancaster, PHR, SHRM-CP

Along with being a Master of Human Resources, Laura is a master of communicating and provides her clients with world-class customer service. She can really cut some rug on the country swing dance floor and enjoys musical theater in between motorcycle rides.

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