On Monday, March 6, 2017, Republican Leaders in Congress released the American Health Care Act, their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  The list below represents items where changes could occur, if the proposal were to be passed.

DELAYED (NOT REPEALED):

The taxes on high-cost insurance plans (aka the “Cadillac Tax”) would be delayed until 2025.

REPEALED:

Eliminate the individual mandate (the requirement that all individuals have insurance coverage) penalty.

Eliminate the employer mandate (the requirement that certain employers to offer coverage to certain workers) shared responsibility penalties.

EXPANDED:

Size of healthcare savings accounts that can be coupled with high deductible insurance plans will be expanded.  (Amounts could increase to $6,550 for individuals, or $13,100 for families).

TAX CREDIT:

Advanceable, refundable tax credit to assist individuals that purchase health insurance.  Amount starts at $2,000 per person, with family credit of up to $14,000.  Amount phases out for individuals making more than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples filing jointly).

SAME:

Coverage cannot be denied for individuals with pre-existing conditions, with a new requirement that the individual maintain “continuous” coverage.

Children can stay on the parents’ health plan until age 26.

NEW:

Insurance companies can charge higher premiums (30%) as a penalty to individuals who do not maintain health insurance coverage for longer than a set period of time.

STATE FUNDS:

$100 billion fund for states to help their lower-income residents afford health insurance.  Fund is intended to help stabilize the state insurance markets.  Fund could be used to help lower patients’ out of pocket costs or promote access to preventive services.

RECALLED:

Expansion of Medicaid, which was designed to expand healthcare coverage, will be rolled back.

NEW: 

Change Medicaid to a per-capita system.  States will be given a set amount for the number of people in certain categories, such as disabled, elderly, childless adults, and pregnant mothers.

Download the American Health Care Act proposal: PDF

Everyone knew that changes to the Affordable Care Act would be coming with a new Administration.  The American people now have answers to some of their questions regarding the Republican American Health Care Act proposal.  There are still many questions, in addition to gathering the required number of votes in the House and Senate, as well as ironing out the details to chart the best course for everyone involved.

We will be listening to the conversation and watching for new developments.  Stay tuned…