Washington Watch - March 8, 2017

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

House released the American Health Care Act

On Monday, March 6, 2017, the Republican controlled House released the American Health Care Act ("AHCA"), the long awaited replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). We have created a comparison chart on some of the key provisions of the ACA and how they fair in the AHCA.

Affordable Care Act

American Health Care Act-

introduced 3/6/2017

Individual Mandate: required individuals to obtain health insurance or face tax penalties.

Individual Mandate: the AHCA has no coverage requirements for individuals.

Employer Mandate: required companies with 50 or more employees to provide employer sponsored health insurance or face financial penalties.

Employer Mandate: There is no requirement for employers to provide employer sponsored health insurance in the AHCA.

Premium subsidies: The ACA provided tax credits based on a sliding scale according to income.

Premium subsidies: The AHCA uses age instead of income to distribute subsidies. Individuals making less than $75,000 and households under $150,000 would be eligible for the premium subsidies.

Medicaid expansion: Expanded Medicaid by raising the eligibility cutoff to 138% of the poverty level.

Medicaid expansion: Allow states to keep the expansion through 2020. Eligibility would be reduced start in 2020.

Health savings account: Under the current law, in 2017, an individual can put $3,400 and a family $6,750 into a tax-free health savings account.

Health savings account: Almost doubles the amount an individual or family can save in the tax-free account, $6,550 for an individual and $13,100 for a family beginning in 2018.

Age Rating: The ACA capped the amount an insurer could charge based on age, 3 to 1.

Age Rating: Increases the band to 5 to 1 and allows for states to set their own band.

Dependent coverage until 26: The ACA allowed for dependents to remain on their parents' insurance until age 26.

Dependent coverage until 26: The AHCA continues to allow for dependents to remain on their parents' insurance until age 26.

Pre-existing conditions policy: The ACA required insurers to provide insurance to individuals regardless of pre-existing conditions.

Pre-existing conditions policy: The AHCA maintains this policy.

Essential health benefits: The ACA required every health insurance plan to offer 10 essential health benefits.

Essential health benefits: The AHCA maintains this coverage requirement.

Prohibitions on annual and lifetime limits: The ACA barred insurers from capping the dollar amount they would spend on covering an individual.

Prohibitions on annual and lifetime limits: The AHCA keeps the prohibition in place on capping the dollar amount of insuring an individual.


The NASE will continue to evaluate the proposed legislation and its potential impact on the self-employed community.

If you are interested, you can read the full text of the bill, here: American Health Care Act.

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  1. 4 Dean Hunkele 10 Mar
    You omitted the GOP version of the fines for not having insurance. Insurers can charge a 30% penalty for it for 12 months. The GOP plan stinks just as much as the ACA. Also keep in mind they promised to repeal it NOT tweak it!
  2. 3 Roberta 19 Mar
    You are so awesome!  Thank you for the support.
  3. 2 Henry 04 May
    Now that the house has passed their revised version of this bill, I'm a little freaked out. Please tell me if I'm missing something in my calculations.  My wife & I are self-employed.  Last year's AGI was about $37K, and is slowly growing year by year. In AZ, our Silver health plan for a family of 4 is almost $26K in premiums, and we receive tax credits for all of that.  With a high-deductible, we typically spend $6K a year on health costs, for a net health care cost that is affordable (our max out of pocket is around $15K or so, if I recall).  Under the new plan, it appears Tax Credits would be limited to $11K ($2K + $2K + $3.5K + $3.5K), which only covers just-over half of the premiums.   Will I really be paying $14K+ more in insurance premiums for a Silver Plan?  Won't many self-employed families face similar issues?  Thanks!

  4. 1 Audie 24 Jul
     The government is a third party payer- not worried about the price, not their money, not worried about the quality, they voted themselves out, the whole thing stinks,  they will either repeal obamacare or suffer the next election.


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