Now that Donald Trump has been elected president, he is in position to follow through on one of his biggest campaign promises: to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare. While the exact details of the Trump health care plan are still under development, there are some signs of what employers could expect for their future company benefits.
No Immediate Changes for Existing Plans
It will take time for the government to pass a new health care law. If your company signed up for a health insurance plan, that plan should stay the same at least until it needs to be renewed. Since plans typically last a year, a new plan that starts in January should last for all of 2017.
It could take even longer for changes to come into play. According to The New York Times, House Republicans want to pass a bill that would delay any changes for several years.
Some ACA Provisions May Remain
President-elect Trump has indicated that he likes some parts of the Affordable Care Act and would be open to keeping them. He likes the feature that if a parent has health insurance, the plan should also cover their children until they turn 26.
He also said he likes that insurers cannot deny people for pre-existing conditions, though this may be more difficult to keep depending on how the law changes.
Potential Removal of Coverage Mandates
One unpopular part of the ACA was that it required individuals to have health insurance coverage or they would face a tax penalty. It also required that employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees offer health insurance to their full-time employees. Trump has expressed that he wants to get rid of this rule. One might speculate that—depending on the size of your business—it is possible that you may no longer be legally required to offer health insurance to your workforce.
Expansion of HSAs
Trump would like to expand the use of health savings accounts (HSAs), according to CNBC. These accounts let people save money for health care expenses when they are enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan.
Enrollees can contribute to an HSA with before-tax dollars and can use this money to pay for health care costs including their deductible. Trump would like to increase the amount people can contribute to an HSA every year and make it easier to pass an HSA to heirs. If your company does not currently offer an HSA to employees, this could be a valuable benefit to launch in the future.
Minimum Essential Benefits
The ACA set minimum requirements for what could count as acceptable health insurance. Plans needed to cover a minimum amount of a person’s expected health care costs every year. Small-business and individual plans also had to cover some essential benefits like pharmaceutical drugs, maternity care and dental benefits for children.
The Trump health care plan could remove these coverage requirements, according to financial-planning.com. This would give employers more flexibility when they design their health insurance plan.
Preparing for the Future
At this point, it’s still too early to say how the health insurance landscape will change under President Trump. Employers should stay the course with their current benefit plan until more details come out about the Trump health care plan. You can visit the healthcare.gov blog for any updates on the Affordable Care Act.