Aon Hewitt Washington Report
March 27, 2017
House Leaders Pull Health Care Reform Bill
On March 24, 2017, leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives ended debate on the GOP’s “American Health Care Act” and pulled the legislation from the floor after determining that it was likely to be defeated. The failure to move the legislation means that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in its eighth year, will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.
This means that employers will need to continue to review and assess the future ACA provisions that will likely impact employer group health plans, including the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer group health care plans, effective in 2020, and the employer mandate to offer affordable minimum value health care coverage to full-time employees.
House Passes Small Business Health Fairness Act
On March 22, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed with a 236–175 vote the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017 (H.R. 1101). The bill would “improve access and choice for entrepreneurs with small businesses with respect to medical care for their employees.” As part of the provisions, the proposed legislation would expand the ability of small employer groups and individuals to join together to obtain health insurance through an unregulated association health plan. H.R. 1101 progresses to the Senate for consideration. In a Statement of Administration Policy, the White House indicated its support of the measure.
The full text of H.R. 1101 is available here.
The White House Statement of Administration Policy is available here.
A fact sheet on H.R. 1101 is available here.
Other HR Items
IRS Releases Revenue Procedure on Employee Consent for FICA and RRTA Refund Claims
On March 20, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Procedure 2017-28, which provides guidance to employers on the requirements for employee consent used by an employer to support a claim for refund of overpaid taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA). The Revenue Procedure clarifies the basic requirements for both a request for employee consent and for the employee consent, and permits employee consent to be requested, furnished, and retained in an electronic format. Also included is guidance concerning what constitutes “reasonable efforts” if employee consent is not secured in order to permit the employer to claim a refund of the employer share of overpaid FICA or RRTA taxes.
IRS Revenue Procedure 2017-28 is available here.