AHCA Scrapped, Obamacare Remains Law of the Land

Obamacare remains law

The flurry of events on Capitol Hill last Friday afternoon left many Americans struggling to make sense of what all was happening at any given moment.

On March 24, 2017—amidst unofficial tallies indicating the bill would not pass, and at President Trump’s request—the House of Representatives withdrew the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from consideration before it was ever brought to the floor for a vote. President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden all indicated that the AHCA bill is dead, frozen short on the path towards becoming law. As Trump and the GOP shift their focus to tax reform, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) —with its Individual and Employer Mandates—remains intact.

With the dust having settled, it’s important for HR and benefits professionals to understand the implications and outcomes associated with the AHCA being scrapped. Ultimately, the ACA – also known as Obamacare – is still in effect. As House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday during a press conference, “Obamacare will remain the law of the land. . . We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

While there could be additional changes in the future, here are some key points for HR and benefits professionals to understand right now:

  • The ACA Employer Mandate and its reporting requirements are still in effect. Remember, it’s “business as usual”. If you are non-compliant with the legislation, your organization could be at risk for penalties.
  • When it comes to ACA, “better late than never” applies. It’s better to file forms 1095 and 1094 late to the IRS than to never file at all. After all, the fines for filing late are significantly less than failing to file completely.
  • Your employees may need help in understanding how this affects them. This has been a confusing time, especially for your employees who may be covered by the ACA and/or receiving a subsidy to help pay for their coverage. You may wish to send a communication to employees to help them understand that your organization will continue to comply with the legislation and that the ACA is still in effect.

If your organization needs support in effectively managing ACA compliance, Equifax can help. Throughout uncertain times, our teams have continued to invest in our Affordable Care Act Management Solution and provide unmatched support to our clients. To learn more, contact us to speak with an Equifax ACA compliance team member today.