What's the Current Situation With 'Repeal and Replace'?
Update: On March 24, the Speaker of the House of Representatives withdrew the ACA repeal-and-replace bill and stated that the ACA will be left intact for the time being. Please click here for the latest update.
With the new Trump presidency and the Republican majority in the House and Senate, Affordable Care Act (ACA) news is making headlines daily. The information is fluid and often conflicting.
Bottom Line, Changes May Be Underway, But It's Still Too Early To Know
To date, all provisions of the ACA remain in place, including the Individual Mandate and the ESR provisions. There have been no changes to the requirements or upcoming deadlines for 2016 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C beyond those announced by the IRS last November. However, the Senate and House have taken steps toward a partial repeal of the law.
On Thursday, January 12, the U.S. Senate took the first step by voting 51-48 on a procedural budget vote. On Friday, January 13, the House also voted the measure through 227-198. This vote does not repeal or replace the ACA as the budget resolution is not a legislative bill itself. However, the measure includes instructions on how to proceed with the budget reconciliation process. A budget reconciliation cannot be filibustered; therefore, the Senate can pass a bill with a simple majority of 51 votes. 60 votes are needed to overcome a filibuster, and the Republicans hold 52 of the 100 Senate seats.
The House and Senate committees will now create instructions on what the repeal would look like. After drafted legislation is approved by both houses with a simple majority, President Trump can then approve or veto the bill. However, even if President Trump signs the repeal legislation, it would not repeal the entirety of the ACA. Only provisions budgetary in nature can be repealed through reconciliation (i.e., individual and employer mandates, subsidies, penalties, and Medicaid). Items that don't impact debt and spending can't be included in the budget reconciliation content.
2016 ESR Filing
Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) – in general, those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, in the previous calendar year – are required to file 2016 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS by February 28, 2017, if filing paper forms or by March 31, 2017, if filing electronically. ALEs are also required to distribute Forms 1095-C to applicable employees by March 2, 2017. ALEs should keep copies of these forms for their records.
IRS Individual Mandate Reminder Notices
The IRS recently began sending notices to taxpayers who may not be enrolled in health insurance to remind them that they may be subject to Individual Mandate penalties if they don't obtain coverage. Individuals have until January 31 to enroll in insurance through Healthcare.gov for coverage in 2017.
Paychex will continue to monitor ACA developments under the Trump administration.