The House of Representatives leadership released the American Health Care Act which is intended to repeal large parts of and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The bill does not include a provision that would tax employer sponsored premiums in excess of a dollar threshold as the FEHBlog discussed yesterday. For that reason, the bill retains the ACA's Cadillac tax but pushed the effective date back from 2020 to 2025.
With respect to the FEHBP, the bill principally would preserve the ACA's age 26 coverage provision, lift the statutory cap on flexible spending accounts (OPM would have to agree to increase the cap), lift the exclusion on HSA, HRA, and FSA reimbursement of over the counter medicines and increase maximum annual contributions to health savings accounts. The changes generally would take effect next year.
The bill would zero out the individual and employer mandates. The bill also would eliminate virtually all of the ACA imposed business and personal taxes beginning next year except for the Cadillac tax and the PCORI fee unfortunately.
The bill would provide an age rated, and income restricted advanceable tax credit to purchase individual health insurance. It would create a role for health insurance agents. The bill would permit the credit to be use to purchase health coverage which is not ACA compliant, e.g., catastrophic coverage. The bill's provisions must pass muster from the Senate parliamentarian in order to be treated as a budget reconciliation act which can't be filibustered in the Senate.
The Ways and Means Committee will mark up the bill on Wednesday morning. At the same time on Wednesday, the Energy and Commerce Committee will consider the budget reconciliation aspects of this legislative action.