As expected, the House of Representatives is now tackling the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The jurisdiction for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) falls under two different House Committees, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce. This week, each committee began their respective consideration. As the measure stands today, here is a high-level summary of the highlights:
Most of the popular provisions of the ACA will be retained under the AHCA. This includes:
- Prohibiting the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
- The allowance of dependents to remain on their parent’s insurance until age 26.
- Prohibiting lifetime limits.
- Prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in the issuance of insurance.
Most of the unpopular provisions of the ACA will be repealed and replaced under the AHCA. It will exclude the:
- Individual mandate penalties to have insurance.
- Employer mandate for qualifying large employers to provide affordable health insurance to all employees.
The AHCA includes:
- An increase in the amounts individuals can elect for pre-tax health savings accounts. It would increase from $3,400 individual/$6,750 family to $6,550 individual/$13,100 family.
- A penalty for individuals who allow their coverage to lapse. Insurers would be able to impose a 30 percent surcharge on new plans for individuals who had not maintained continuous insurance coverage.
- Tax credits, indexed by age, for the purchase of coverage. These credits phase out for individuals making $75,000 or families with combined income of $150,000.
Early on the morning of March 9, the House Ways and Means Committee approved their section by a vote of 23 to 16, while the Energy and Commerce Committee continues a simultaneous marathon session. This repeal and replace process will continue, and changes are expected once the legislation moves to the Senate for its consideration.
Stay tuned for the latest information!