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Q2 Legislative Updates
Q3 Legislative Updates 

Our Legislative Updates will keep you up to date on the latest news on healthcare reform. Here are some topics we are following.

As an employer, managing your ACA requirements isn’t always easy. However, if your company operates in several states, the challenges you face associated with your ACA compliance considerations could become much more difficult.

With the removal of the ACA individual mandate penalty, states have been left looking for ways to stabilize their healthcare markets and to continue to provide affordable healthcare to their constituents. Some states are beginning to adopt individual mandates requiring individuals to carry coverage. To validate that the employee has coverage either on the exchange or through their employer, states will require employer reporting. Are you ready for state-level reporting – required this year?

Beginning in 2019, New Jersey residents are required to secure health insurance or pay a fine. That money received through fines will help provide stabilization to those with catastrophic claims so their medical premium rates do not rise dramatically.

New Jersey’s mandate will also require employers with employees or COBRA participants who have resided in the state at any time over the past year to provide information on insurance coverage. This includes the submission of Forms 1094 and 1095 data for New Jersey residents, in addition to the standard IRS filing.

The number of uninsured Americans is rising for the first time since the Affordable Care Act became law. In 2018, the number of uninsured individuals in the United States rose to 27.5 million, up from 25.6 million in 2017. This was the first year-to-year increase in uninsured rates since 2008-2009.

The decline is attributed to a decline in Medicaid enrollment, which dropped by about 2 million people in 2018.

While there has been limited recent federal legislative action around health reform, there are several pending cases in the courts.

Read more about lawsuits over non-ACA plans (including short-term plans and Association Health Plans), cost-sharing reductions, and the risk adjustment program.

The September KFF Health Tracking Poll found that the public sees healthcare issues such as lowering healthcare and prescription drug costs, protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and reducing risk of surprise medical bills as top priorities for congress. It also indicates favorability for the ACA has increased this month to 53 percent. And, fifty-five percent of democrats and democrat-leaning individuals prefer a candidate that supports building on the ACA versus replacing it.

Healthcare remains a hot topic for democratic presidential candidates presenting policy ideas. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that while the proposal of expanding Medicare is popular among voters, most support a plan that would also keep private health insurance.  

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