ACA Expat Relief Congress to Examine Employer Mandate

Health coverage for expatriate employees — including US citizens working abroad and foreign citizens working in the US — raises special ACA issues. After June 30, 2015, permanent relief from most ACA provisions becomes available under the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act enacted in December, but only expatriate plans meeting detailed conditions will qualify.

As Congress returns to work this week, a House panel will hold a hearing focusing on the ACA’s employer and individual mandates. The House has voted several times to repeal both mandates, but repeal is unlikely in the Senate without a 60-vote Republican majority or a major disrupting event, such as a Supreme Court decision in late June that could strike down federal subsidies provided through federally-run health insurance exchanges.

The Senate could vote within days on a House-passed bill (HR 2) that would change the way Medicare pays doctors and other providers. While the Senate vote may be delayed for a week or so, the legislation is expected to soon become law. Providers participating in alternative payment models that meet certain requirements would get higher payments than others. The reforms will be paid for in part by increasing Medicare Part B and D premiums for higher-income beneficiaries.

Register for Mercer US Health News to receive weekly e-mail updates.