Now that the election is over, the question at the top of everyone’s mind is: ‘What’s going to happen to my pre-tax health accounts?’. While there is little we can definitively say about what changes, if any, will be forthcoming from the new administration, we do feel there are some insights we can offer now that the election season is over.
We expect there will be actions taken to repeal some or all of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
While repeal in any form would be significant, certain aspects will be difficult to change and transition plans will need to be developed. Any changes to the law are unlikely to impact group health plans until 2018 at the earliest. Additionally, the ACA had been integrated into our health care system over the last 7 years and it will take time to unwind if the law is in fact repealed. Early indications from Washington suggest that the provisions on pre-existing conditions and dependent coverage until age 26 are unlikely to be altered, while one of the more likely changes is to discard the individual and employer coverage mandates.
We anticipate Health Accounts will play an even greater role in the overall health care financing strategy.
Health Accounts (and more specifically Health Savings Accounts) have been a key component to health care financing for more than a decade. Historically, there has been bipartisan support for pre-tax health accounts (FSA, HRA & HSA) and we expect that to continue. However, the new administration has expressed its support for HSAs and is expected to make changes to HSA regulations that will make them more accessible. Proposals have been introduced to remove or limit the insurance requirements needed to have an HSA and to allow more individuals to be eligible for an HSA.
Many of you are currently in open enrollment and some of your employees may be asking what is going to happen to their pre-tax health accounts in 2017 and the response should be “nothing”. Employers and participants should move forward ‘business-as-usual’ for their 2017 plan years.
As changes to the ACA are rolled out, we will be sure to keep you informed of those changes to the extent they have any impact on the accounts or services offered through Benefit Resource.