As a sales rep for a Professional Employer Organization, I have spent the last four years talking with business owners who were worried about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their businesses and employees. In many cases, I helped them find a cost-effective solution that helped them gain control of one of their most uncontrollable costs. Sometimes, I didn’t. Sometimes, the uncertainty of the previous two election cycles caused them to freeze up, maintain their status quo and hope for the best.
Now, we are about to embark on the Donald Trump era. For many, this is a sign that the ACA is going away and they can go back to things as they were. Perhaps so, but were things all that great before?
The reality is that it’s impossible to predict with any certainty what will happen in the next 12 months, let alone the next two years. A recent article on Smart Business’ website does have some thoughts on it that I would like to share and expand on.
The Future of the ACA
As the article states, the Senate would require 60 votes to repeal the ACA. If everyone votes strict party lines, there aren’t enough votes to make that happen. Still the Republicans have other tactics at their disposal, particularly budget reconciliation, the same tactic that was used to pass it in the first place. This would only impact the parts that deal with revenue and expenditures (i.e., individual mandates, premium tax credits, penalty taxes, etc.). It would have to leave many parts of the law in place. Some of those are very popular components like covering pre-existing conditions, extending children’s stays on parent’s policies until the age of 26, and prohibition on annual and lifetime limits on essential coverages.
Due to the political nature of this legislation, anything happening soon is unrealistic. There are too many people that are already on some sort of ACA plan, meaning they’re committed to this for at least a year. Anything happening long-term would most likely be a hybrid program at best.
If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around all of this or just want to look at exploring some innovative options, a PEO like GMS can help you explore some great alternatives. Contact us today to learn more.