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[Video] Tax Reform and Your Business: How Has the Affordable Care Act Changed?


Have the provisions of the Affordable Care Act changed? There may be some misconceptions about how tax reform has impacted the ACA. Laurie Savage, Paychex senior compliance analyst, provides some clarifications.

More tax reform videos: General overview | Employer tax credit for paid family and medical leave | Tax tables and Form W-4 changes | Pass-through entities and accelerated depreciation | States' response

Full transcript:

Hi, I am Laurie Savage, senior compliance analyst at Paychex. And today, we're going to talk about how the federal tax overhaul impacted the Affordable Care Act. So one of the big headlines was that the tax reform repealed the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. And that is essentially true but not logistically so. What that means is it zeroed out the penalty associated with it, but it did not change the provisions. So this year, this is not in effect. But as of 2019, that penalty amount will be zero, essentially repealing the individual mandate portion. So you still have your reporting requirements that are both for insurers and self-insured employers. Both of those still have the reporting requirements.

Now, we have some questions with the IRS of whether they're going to tweak those requirements although they're still technically on the books as necessary. The individual in the mandate no longer being there. I'm not quite sure what they'll be doing with that information.

As far as the rest of the Affordable Care Act, it still remains intact, so the employer share of responsibility provisions and such. So the employer mandate, nothing has changed there. Employers have to offer adequate affordable coverage to what is considered their full-time employees if they’re an applicable large employer, or they could be subject to a penalty so that all those provisions still remain intact.

Now, there are implications to repealing the individual mandate. It's debatable to what extent, and it's probably very geographic dependent. So what that means is depending on what state you are in and how those markets are set up, that may have more or less of an impact on the population and how their health care markets work. So each state will need to basically look at how this change to the individual mandate – the zeroing out – essentially negating it impacts their markets, and we respond appropriately so that they ensure they're covered in a way that they see they see fit. That could mean changes of instituting their own individual mandate.

Massachusetts already had one, and some other states are considering that. That's logistically difficult because there's a slight restructure billed with that. Or looking at your whole health care market system, including the employer market per se, and deciding how you're going to support.

There are some carve-outs in the Affordable Care Act that allow that if they get particular waivers under section 1332. So we could see in the next a little bit geographies responding differently to the individual mandate repeal and state legislatures are in session starting now, a lot of them. So we might see them reacting to how that impacts their markets, and we'll have to wait and see how it plays out.

But states may again be the driver of how employers and health care markets work.

This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.