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episode 62 – the carrot & the stick: the careful dismantling of the affordable care act

Joe Popp | Affordable Care Act | Future of Obamacare
Joe Popp joins Dave on this episode of unsuitable on Rea Radio to talk about the future of the Affordable Care Act after Donald Trump takes office as the next president of the United States of America. Listen Now!

Wondering what’s in store for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when a new president takes the oath of office? Joe Popp, JD, LLM, Rea’s resident ACA expert has a few thoughts – but the first step to understanding the future of this landmark legislation is to look beyond your political leanings in search of answers. If you are curious about what the future of the ACA looks like, you’ll want to start listening to this episode of unsuitable on Rea Radio now.

One key provision of the legislation, also commonly referred to as Obamacare, was the elimination of pre-existing conditions, which were generally grounds insurance companies used to deny coverage (or significantly increase deductibles) to individuals with chronic conditions, such as diabetes. By removing the insurance company’s ability to discriminate based on an individual’s pre-existing conditions, more Americans than ever gained access to health coverage – the stick.

“The ground is always moving. We’re not sure what’s going to happen. … But that’s really not new. That’s how it has been [for the ACA] it’s entire lifetime.”

Now, let’s take a look at the carrot …

According to Joe, the main tactic being proposed is the ability for consumers to purchase insurance coverage across state lines, in hopes of stirring up more competition in the market place and, as a result, driving insurance costs down. But this carrot, as most things do, will come at a price.

Here’s some probable outcomes business leaders will want to note:

  • Pre-existing Conditions – Insurance companies may once again be allowed to discriminate based on preexisting conditions again. That means, if you are an employer, you should encourage your employees and their families to pre-empt the change and sign up for health care coverage as soon as possible. Once an insurance company has extended coverage to a consumer, it’s a lot harder for them to drop them – simply because of their condition. But if you or a member of your family has a chronic condition and no health insurance now, once the insurance companies get the green light to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, it’s unlikely that you will be able to secure the affordable health coverage you need.
  • Cash Benefits for Employees with Coverage – In his first 100 days in office, President-elect Donald Trump will likely remove the restriction on companies opting to provide some type of pretax cash benefit to their employees who secure health coverage in lieu of providing the coverage themselves. This would be huge. As it stands now, employers of all sizes have only two options. They can either provide all full-time employees with affordable, quality insurance coverage or they can offer no health care coverage at all. Those who don’t meet this “all or nothing” mandate could be forced to pay up to $100 per employee, per day. Or up to $36,500 per employee, per year.

But what if the new president decides to completely scrap the ACA? What would happen then? Is complete elimination even possible?

Insurance companies set rates in June and July for the upcoming year. So, it’s unlikely that the new administration will be able to replace the entire system early enough for companies to prepare for the following year. Therefore, a complete insurance system overhaul is unlikely for 2018. Even if legislation is passed to replace the ACA sometime in 2017, those new regulations won’t go into effect until insurance year 2019.

In the meantime, Joe offers a few key reminders to help employers stay on top ACA issues over the next year. Listen to this episode of unsuitable on Rea Radio to learn more.

And if you liked this episode, let us know by sharing it, rating it or leaving a comment. Thank you for listening to our award-winning podcast!

past episode

The Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – has ushered in many changes, and the target is always moving. But there are some great resources available to help businesses like yours avoid the steep penalties associated with the ACA. Take a look at the following articles to learn more about your responsibilities under the regulation. Listen to episode five of unsuitable on Rea Radio to learn how you can avoid being burned by Obamacare.

articles & insight

Make BIG Changes Or Face Big Fines – If you have more than 50 employees, you are now required to file Form 1095-C with the IRS. Read on to find out what that means for your business.

Preparing Individuals For New Filing Obligations – You’ve probably heard some chatter about Form 1095-C around the water cooler. While many employers are still scrambling to meet their filing deadline, their employees may still be in the dark about how the new 1095 forms impact them. Read on to learn more.

meet your requirements

What Is Form 1095-C? – Have you wondered how your business was going to be held accountable for the provisions detailed in the ACA? Wonder no more.

Who Needs To File Form 1095-C – Form 1095-C is part of the set of IRS tools to ensure that both businesses and individuals are playing by the rules, and to penalize them if they are not. Unfortunately, some employers have dismissed this filing – mistakenly believing it doesn’t pertain to them. Read on to learn more.

official transcript

Click here to read the official transcript for episode 62: the carrot & the stick: the careful dismantling of the affordable care act