A new proposed regulation opens the way to expand association health plans (AHPs). AHPs are plans sponsored by a group of unrelated employers, linked by factors such as a common industry or geography. These AHP plans will be allowed to offer reduced benefits in order to lower the cost of coverage. The stated goal of the proposed regulation is to make it easier for small employers to buy lower cost health insurance.
The deadline for furnishing individual statements under Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2017 has been extended for 30 days. Good-faith transition relief from penalties has also been extended for 2017 reporting. The due date for filing returns with the IRS for 2017 is not affected.
The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) remains on the books. And, in a significant new development, the IRS is poised to begin levying penalties on employers, under the ACA’s employer mandate, for 2015. These penalties may be significant and it we cannot anticipate any “relief” reaching back to 2015.
While the debate over replacing the Affordable Care Act continues, it is also important to focus on the law that currently controls the American health care system – the ACA. The Trump Administration has been sending conflicting signals about how it will administer the Affordable Care Act. These conflicting signals may prove to be disruptive to insurance markets – and to individuals.
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