With adoption of a fiscal 2017 budget plan on January 13, Congress has taken the first legislative step toward achieving Republicans’ plan to repeal much of the ACA under fast-track budget rules. The plan, or “budget resolution,” instructs House and Senate committees to write budget “reconciliation” legislation by a non-binding January 27 deadline that knocks out key parts of the law. GOP leaders aim to put a bill on incoming President Trump’s desk within weeks, but the timing and shape of a repeal measure -- and replacement legislation that's taken on new urgency -- is unclear amid party differences over legislative process and policy details.
Treasury and IRS have extended relief for employers that offer "opt-out arrangements" paying employees who decline employer-sponsored health coverage. In recently issued final ACA premium tax credit regulations, the regulators said they are still evaluating issues related to the arrangements. Until further guidance is issued, employers making opt-out payments are not required to increase the employees' required contribution for affordability purposes under employer shared responsibility provisions, unless the arrangement fails to meet standards for relief provided under prior guidance.