2018 Obamacare Changes for Employer Health Coverage

Obamacare, also known as the ACA, laws and regulations are changing on an ongoing and constant basis. As an employer and provider of company health benefits staying well informed is essential. Trying to sift through all the red tape, rumors and conflicting media reports surrounding the new tax laws in regards to Obamacare can be a daunting task. It can also cause a great deal of uncertainty when knowing what is right when providing comprehensive benefits for you and all the employees of your company. So let’s look at the 2018 Obamacare Changes for Employer Health Coverage and how it affects employer health insurance requirements in 2018.

I thought it was vital that I write this article to help employers keep updated on ACA changes employer health insurance requirements for 2018 for small and large businesses that have employer-provided health benefits. Due to the nature of this subject please keep in mind that things can change in an instant when it comes to our national healthcare insurance situation.

There is no need to stress when trying to understand the new regulations laws and tax codes surrounding the ever-changing world of healthcare in our state when you have an agent that helps keep you informed on current rules and regulations when related to the benefits they sell.

Existing Mandates and Penalties for Businesses

Infographic showing penalties for not providing employee health insurance. 2018 Obamacare Changes for Employer Health Coverage

Infographic by Kaiser Family Foundation. Used for illustrative purposes only. Click the picture to visit their article: Employer Responsibility Under the Affordable Care Act

When looking at this flowchart there are some major points to keep in mind.

Penalties only apply to businesses with 50 or more employees.

Medical insurance premiums have to be less than 9.69% of the income of all employees,(rounding off to 10% provides some leeway and it’s easy.)

Penalties are extremely costly for groups over 50 that do not provide qualifying medical insurance.

So how will the new tax law and changes to Obamacare affect the way in which my business is better able to provide and also contribute toward employee benefits for my company?

Are the ACA mandates and penalties for business different for 2018?

The reality is that although there have been major changes in individual healthcare in regards to ACA rules, penalties and mandates, there has been up to now little or no changes to employer ACA regulations and penalties. Within the last week, there was some good news regarding the “Cadillac tax” and the “health insurance industry fee.”

The “Cadillac” tax sounds like it would apply only to rich plans but in actuality, it penalizes groups according to how high their premium is and not how rich the plan is. So a group that has suffered rate increases is further penalized with a tax because they pay a lot! Thank goodness it has been suspended for 2 years and is not being implemented until at least 2020 and hopefully it will vanish altogether by then.

Another unnecessary tax called “The Health Insurance Industry Fee” (a.k.a. “Health Insurer Tax”) has been further suspended for this upcoming year. This tax was designed to help fund the federal and marketplace exchanges. Again hopefully this will not return in the future.

Lastly, the “medical device tax” opposed on manufactures of these devices was also further suspended for 2 more years. Again the purpose of this tax was to help fund Obamacare.

The general consensus among the public is that the new tax laws will have a great and positive effect in regards to a company’s bottom line and greater financial resources for small and large businesses alike. The promise of no “Cadillac”, “HIT”, or “medical device” taxes only helps the promise of being able to more easily provide great benefits for your people.

More and more companies are giving bonuses and income increases because of the new tax law. Why not consider an increase in coverage and benefits?

In conclusion, my agency is hopeful that the upcoming years will usher in a brighter future of healthcare insurance. Increased competitiveness and in turn more choices will hopefully lower premiums and costs for all when shopping, purchasing and using your medical coverage.

One thing everybody recognizes is that we all deserve to have affordable access to coverage. Keep posted because there will certainly be more articles to follow as changes happen. I hope I have helped clarify the 2018 Obamacare Changes for Employer Health Coverage, the current status of Obamacare (ACA) regulations, and penalties associated with them.

If you have questions about the effects of the new law on your business, or if you want to use your newfound savings from the new tax law to provide greater benefits for your employees, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Helping businesses through superior service is our goal. We want to help you get it right while providing the best return for your group health insurance and employee benefits.