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Q2 Legislative Updates
Q2 Legislative Updates 

Our Legislative Updates will keep you up to date on the latest news around the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Here are some topics we are following.

California will become the first state to cover healthcare benefits for immigrants. Adults between the ages of 19 and 25 living in California illegally will be eligible for California's Medicaid program. State officials estimate that group will be about 90,000 people at a cost of $98 million per year. In order to pay for this new program, the state will reinstate an individual mandate penalty.

The IRS is continuing to issue 226-J notices for the 2016 plan year and is expected to begin sending notices for the 2017 plan year later this year.

Employers who may not be in compliance with ACA requirements, including non-filers and employers who have filed inaccurately or incompletely may see notices that have included penalty assessments in the tens of millions of dollars.

Reducing your penalty risk has never been more vital. Read our blog to find tricks on how you can keep your employer protected from receiving a Letter 226-J.

The state of Maryland is using a new program to guide and automate enrollment in healthcare coverage. Maryland residents will be asked if they have health insurance as part of their state tax return filing in 2020. If the answer is no, the state will review the tax return to determine if the individual is eligible for Medicaid. Those who are Medicaid-eligible will be automatically enrolled. For those with higher incomes that do not qualify for Medicaid will be referred to the state’s health exchange where they may be eligible for government subsidies under the ACA. Proponents of the law indicate it could help at least 100,000 Maryland residents enroll in no-cost or low-cost health insurance, and advocates hope to replicate the law in other states.

On May 16, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation known as the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act that combined four bills related to the ACA and three bills aimed to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

The goal of the bill is to reverse many of the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the ACA, increase protections for people with preexisting conditions, and to prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from ending automatic re-enrollment in marketplace plans. The legislation restores funding for ACA-related marketing and prohibits the Trump administration’s recent rule on short-term plans.

Healthcare experts don’t expect the law to pass in the Senate.

The IRS has announced slightly increased HSA contribution limits to adjust for inflation for the calendar year 2020. Limits will be:

  • $3,550 for individual coverage under an HDHP (increase of $50 from 2019)
  • $7,100 for family coverage (increase of $100 from 2019)

The IRS has defined a high deductible health plan for 2020 as a health plan with "an annual deductible that is not less than $1,400 for self-only coverage or $2,800 for family coverage, and the annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) do not exceed $6,900 for self-only coverage or $13,800 for family coverage.”


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