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The Legislative Report blog provides timely information on federal and state legislation and regulations and state trends as well as the myriad issues affecting the private club industry. A companion to CMAA's Legislative website, this resource should be your first stop for any information regarding legal, tax or legislative club-specific issues.

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House Passes Health Care Overhaul Repealing Employer Mandate

(Health Care Reform, Congress) Permanent link

On Thursday, May 4, the House of Representatives passed HR 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017 by a vote of 217 to 213. This measure eliminates several of the unpopular tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) including the individual mandate penalties to have insurance and the employer mandate.

Relevant to clubs specifically, the AHCA repealed the employer mandate which requires qualifying large employers to provide affordable health insurance to all employees.

(Sec. 206) This section repeals the penalties for certain large employers who do not offer full-time employees and their dependents minimum essential health coverage under an employer-sponsored health plan (commonly referred to as the employer mandate). The repeal is effective for months beginning after December 31, 2015.

The US Senate has already indicated that it will undertake consideration of its own effort to repeal and replace the ACA. In a statement, Senate Health Committee Chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) indicated that the committee plans to take its time on the effort. If and when this measure is passed, reconciliation between the House and the Senate would need to occur. It is likely there will be significant differences between the two measures.

Stay tuned! 

American Health Care Act Withdrawn From Consideration

(Health Care Reform, Congress) Permanent link

ACHA Vote

Following turmoil in the House of Representatives, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) has been withdrawn from further consideration. This bill was designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). HR 1628 would have eliminated several of the unpopular provisions of the ACA including the individual mandate penalties to have insurance, and the employer mandate for qualifying large employers to provide affordable health insurance to all employees. 

The House of Representatives was slated to vote on the measure on Friday, March 24, but dissension within the majority party prompted the bill to be withdrawn from further consideration at this time. 

Speaker Paul Ryan has indicated that the House of Representatives will not immediately reconsider the AHCA but remains committed to the goal of repealing and replacing the ACA. 


A Break Down of the American Health Care Act

(Health Care Reform, Congress) Permanent link

AHCA - Doctor

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:

What’s In?
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.

What’s Out?
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. 


What’s New?
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. 


What’s Next?

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!

EEOC Issues Final Rules and Sample Notices on Wellness Programs

(Health Care Reform, Legal Issues) Permanent link

06.22.16 Treadmill

In late May, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published new final rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) governing employer-sponsored wellness programs. Under the final rule, employer wellness programs that ask employees about their medical conditions or ask employees to submit to medical examinations (such as tests which screen for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes) must be “reasonably designed” to promote health and prevent disease, be “voluntary” and safeguard the confidentiality of employees’ medical information.

The final rule allows employers to provide “limited” financial and other incentives in exchange for an employee answering disability-related questions or taking medical examinations as part of a wellness program, whether or not the program is part of a health plan.

Key Definitions Under the Final Rule

  • “Reasonably Designed” - To meet this standard, a program cannot require an overly burdensome amount of time for participation, involve unreasonably intrusive procedures, be a subterfuge for violating the ADA or other laws prohibiting employment discrimination, or require employees to incur significant costs for medical examinations.
      
  • “Voluntary” - Specifically, an employer:   Read more...

Expanding the Advocacy Resources

(501(c)(7) Tax Exempt Club Info, Health Care Reform, ADA, Congress, State Trends, Legal Issues, National Golf Day, Dept of Labor, OSHA, IRS, Immigration, WE ARE GOLF, Regulation, Budget, Tax Issues) Permanent link

Key State LegislationClubindustryvotes.org, CMAA’s Grassroots Advocacy website, has relaunched with expanded information and abilities. The new site adds dynamic state-level information with tracked legislation and legislators.

Through the website, all CMAA members will be able to easily access:

  • Currently Tracked Federal Bills and Regulations
  • Key State Bills (New!!!)
  • Directory of Federal and State Legislators (New!!!)
  • Action Alerts on CMAA-Tracked Issues
  • Non-Partisan Election and Voter Registration Information

As well, Chapters, through their Managing Directors and Legislative Chairmen, will have the opportunity to collaborate with CMAA on state-related Action Alerts (contact forms) and more.

This resource, coupled with the Legislative Report and webinar series providing timely compliance information on the regulations impacting clubs, will now comprise CMAA’s robust advocacy initiative. Get started now to make your voice heard.

Understanding the Cadillac Tax

(Health Care Reform, Regulation) Permanent link

10_27_15_CadillacThe High Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage Excise Tax, more commonly referred to as the Cadillac Tax, is slated to become effective in 2018. Under this provision of the Affordable Care Act, if the total premium cost of the plan provided to an employee exceeds a specific dollar limit, which is revised annually, the excess is subject to a 40 percent excise tax. So that total premium cost is the sum of what your club pays and what the employee pays. 

Currently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is developing guidance about the tax for employers and employees. Read more...

Congress Challenges Health Care Reform

(Health Care Reform, Legal Issues) Permanent link

1_20_15_175wWith the change in power in the Senate, a new session of Congress and a group of newly-elected Congressmen, there are multiple new bills that challenge the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Here are two to watch:

HR 30 - Save American Workers Act of 2015 – Introduced by Representative Todd Young (R-IN), this bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act definition of “full-time employment” as 30-hours and restore the traditional 40-hour workweek as it pertains to the minimum essential health care coverage required under the employer mandate. This measure has already passed the House of Representatives by a 252 – 172 vote on January 8, and has been reference to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration. In addition, ,the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on January 22 on this issue as well as to consider the current system of employer provided health care.  

HR 248 - American Job Protection Act
– Introduced on January 9 by Representative Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA), this measure would repeal the entire employer health insurance mandate from the ACA.  The bill is currently awaiting consideration in the House Committee on Ways and Means.

However, the Presidential veto threat looms on both these measures. It is unlikely the President will sign anything which he deems to weaken the original intentions of the ACA.

Stay tuned to the CMAA Watch List for up-to-date information on these and other measures affecting the club industry!