New Year New Mindset January 24th 2019

On January 24th 2019 over 115 members and guests joined the GPAHU Board of Directors to welcome special guest speaker Jessica Altman, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner.

Chris Handley, GPAHU Vice President
Jessica Altman, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner
Chip Taylor, GPAHU President

The Commissioner shared her priorities and focus for the Commonwealth followed by a Q&A session with the attendees. Ms. Altman shared her views on surprise balance billing, short-term limited duration plans, the opioid crisis and possible fixes for the Affordable Care Act, to name a few. It was an insightful discussion and Commissioner Altman was very gracious to share her priorities and concerns with our members.

In addition to Commissioner Altman, Gina Dano, President/Founder of Define U Consulting, brilliantly presented her approach to improving performance through more authentic communication.

Ms. Dano believes that, by being crystal clear on who we are, what defines and differentiates us (as individuals, as organizations, in our product offerings, etc.), and staying true to it, we will unleash potential that would otherwise go untapped.

For more information or to schedule a presentation with your own company or employees, please contact Gina directly.

Click here for a copy of her presentation.

GPAHU Legislative Chair, Vicky Cagliola

Lastly, GPAHU Legislative Chair, Vicky Cagliola, reviewed a few of the Federal Legislative issues that our industry will face in the coming months and years

including the recent Federal Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the new proposed rule on the expansion of HRAs,

and a legislative forecast under our new congress. 

A copy of her presentation has been attached for your use. Below is a brief summary of those topics.

Federal Court Ruling on the Constitutionality of the ACA

On 12/14/2018, a federal judge ruled in Texas v. United States that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is invalid due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalty in 2019. 

This ruling is expected to be appealed and will likely be taken up by the Supreme Court.  We don’t expect to see a final ruling until 2021.  While the appeals are pending, all existing ACA provisions will continue to be applicable and enforced. 

Although the individual mandate penalty is reduced to zero beginning in 2019, employers and individuals must continue to comply with all other applicable ACA requirements. 

NAHU and GPAHU will continue to keep its members updated on how this case progresses.

Proposed Rule to Expand HRAs

On 10/23/2018, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury Departments issued a proposed rule that would expand the usability of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). 

The final rule is expected in 2019, effective for plan years beginning on or after 1/1/2020. The proposed rule would allow HRAs to be used to reimburse the cost of individual market premiums on a tax-preferred basis, subject to certain conditions. 

The proposed rule would also allow employers that offer traditional group coverage to provide an Excepted Benefit HRA of up to $1,800 per year to reimburse certain qualified medical expenses.

Legislative Forecast under New Congress

A plethora of bi-partisan bills are expected to be introduced under the new congress, with the goal of instituting “fixes” to the existing ACA. 

There is no shortage of ideas for measures that would help to correct those provisions of the ACA that are not functioning as was intended.  Examples of possible fixes include eliminating the Cadillac Tax, eliminating the Health Insurers’ Tax, correcting the “family glitch” and instituting prospective ACA reporting, among many others. Single-Payer Options will be front-and-center in the new congress. 

A significant faction of House and Senate Democrats support single-payer measures and we will likely see more on that front posturing for the election in 2020.  Single-Payer remains an important agenda item for NAHU, as well as a variety of ACA fixes.  NAHU will continue to educate members of congress and lobby on its members behalf and the industry at large.

 Click here for a copy of her presentation.

Comments are closed