Members of the House may be getting closer to voting on a H.R. 4616, bill that could both suspend collection of Affordable Care Act employer mandate penalties and further delay the start date of the ACA Cadillac plan tax.
Analysts at the Congressional Budget Office and the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation have now posted an estimate of the impact of the Employer Relief Act of 2018 bill.
The analysts estimate the bill could cut enough revenue, and lead to enough extra spending, to increase the size of the federal budget deficit by $39.5 billion over the period from 2019 through 2028.
The ACA employer mandate is the provision that requires many employers to provide minimum health coverage at an affordable price for employees, or face the possibility of having to pay large penalties.
The “play or pay” provision is supposed to penalize large employers with many employees that end up seeking help with paying for health care from government programs.
An employer that does not offer major medical coverage at all could end up paying $2,320 per employee not offered coverage, and $3,480 per employee who is eligible for an ACA exchange premium tax credit because of lack of access to affordable employer-sponsored major medical coverage.
The employer mandate provision is supposed to apply this year. H.R. 4616 would keep the mandate from applying to any month beginning after Dec. 31, 2014, and before Jan. 1, 2019.
The Cadillac plan excise tax would impose a stiff tax on health benefits packages classified, under ACA standards, as being high-cost health benefits packages.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., sponsored the bill.
Members of the House Ways and Means Committee approved the bill by a 22-15 vote at a markup , or bill review session, July 11.
All Republicans who participated voted for the bill, and all Democrats who voted against it.
The House considered, and passed, another ACA-related bill this week: H.R. 6311. That bill would do many things, including extending the ACA health insurer tax moratorium. But House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, has said that the bill is still in play, according to a report from Deloitte.
— Read Lawmakers still want HealthCare.gov numbers, on ThinkAdvisor.