In order to avert a government shutdown, the House and Senate approved a temporary stopgap spending bill last week to fund the federal government through December 22, 2017. Between now and December 22, negotiations are likely to continue on another spending bill to fund the government beyond December 22. It is expected that the longer-term spending bill will include a provision to fully reauthorize CHIP and extend several expiring Medicare policies.
It is also possible that the bill could include a delay of certain ACA-related taxes, including the 40 percent “Cadillac” tax on employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. To that end, the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, the Society for Human Resource Management, the National Association of Health Underwriters, and 33 other prominent employer advocacy trade groups signed onto a letter earlier this week urging that Congress grant relief for employers from the Cadillac Tax, the Health Insurance Tax and the medical device tax. The letter stresses that immediate Congressional action on these items is necessary, because insofar as many employers plan for and determine benefits up to two years in advance, they are already restructuring their health benefit offerings to avoid the impending Cadillac tax, which is set to take effect in 2020. The letter further explains that if the Cadillac tax is not repealed, many employers may be forced to modify their benefit plans in ways that may disadvantage employees, such as by requiring higher copays and deductibles and reducing employer contributions.
The letter is available here. It can be downloaded by any concerned employer and forwarded to the employer’s Congressional representative for consideration.