Understanding Trump’s October 2017 Executive Actions

Understanding Trump’s October 2017 Executive Actions

There have been two recent actions by President Trump regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that may cause employers some confusion. The Equifax ACA team has compiled an overview to  help employers better understand what these actions mean for their organization.

1.) The Executive Order from 10/12/2017- Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States

This executive order:

  • Directs the labor Department to make it easier to buy insurance through nationwide association health plans. Such associations allow members to purchase health insurance through their group plans.
  • Could provide more flexibility for offering group coverage across state lines.
  • Would allow consumers to buy short-term policies that do not need to comply with ACA protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
  • Looks to broaden the use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

NOTE: This executive order does not address large employers, so section 4980H (Play or Pay) and sections 6055 and 6056 (reporting by self-insured providers and ALEs) are unaffected.

2.) Announcement Regarding the End of Cost-Sharing Reduction Subsidies

President Trump announced Thursday evening that he will halt scheduled payments for Cost-Sharing Reduction subsidies for low-income Americans. Per Healthcare.gov, Cost-Sharing Reduction subsidies are often referred to as “extra savings” available to low-income Americans on top of advance premium tax credits. Rather than reducing the amount of monthly premiums, Cost-Sharing subsidies helped low-income Americans by reducing their costs for things like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

NOTE: Cost-Sharing subsidies are distinct from the Advance Premium Tax Credit subsidies on which our Equifax Subsidy Management offering is based; premium tax credit subsidies are not affected by this executive action by President Trump.

If you and your team need additional help in managing ACA compliance or completing required reporting for the current or prior tax years, please contact us.