There was a dramatic end to the current Congressional tug-of-war regarding the government shutdown.
Both the Senate (81-18) and House (266-150) approved HR 195 (115), the stop-gap bill granting additional government funding through February 8, 2018. This short-term funding fix is known as a continuing resolution (CR). With the President’s signature and the bill now signed into law, many government workers—out of work since Friday, January 19—are breathing a sigh of relief as they will now be able to report to work today.
Effect on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Other Benefits
This new law contains modifications to three ACA tax provisions and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). Each of these has been of great concern, as our previous blog explains. Here are the latest developments:
- CHIP funding authorization for an additional six years—through September 30, 2023
- Delay of the excise (“Cadillac”) December 31, 2021 (was 2020)
- Moratorium on the health insurance tax (HIT) for the 2019 calendar year
- Two-year delay (calendar years 2018 and 2019) of the medical device tax
Since the CR expires February 8, Congress will either need to finalize their trillion-dollar omnibus bill or we will face another dance to pass another short-term bill to provide additional government funding. While these delays do not fix these provisions long-term, they do provide some relief and peace of mind to employers and give us additional time to continue advocacy efforts on behalf of our clients.
Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, January 24, for our Quarterly Legislative and Regulatory Update webinar where you’ll hear about the legislative and regulatory developments affecting your benefits program. Click here to register.