When we surveyed employers earlier this year, 80% indicated that they supported a repeal of the 2018 excise tax on high cost plans. The response wasn’t surprising given that one-third of large employers are at risk of hitting the threshold in 2018, and 58% by 2022, if they make no changes to their current plan based on projections using Mercer survey data. But what may be surprising to some is that even progressive plan sponsors like CALPERS are at risk. An analysis estimates CALPERS will pay $3.9 million in excise taxes in 2018 despite previous efforts to lower costs using reference-based pricing, ACOs, and value-based prescription drug strategies. In recent weeks, my Mercer colleagues and I have had more than one opportunity to visit Capitol Hill and talk with Congresspersons and regulators about the impact the 2018 excise tax will have on employers. An interesting angle for lawmakers is the impact of the excise tax on state and local government budgets and their source of revenue — taxes.
Do you know when your plans will hit the threshold? Our excise tax calculator will help you estimate exposure for the medical plan cost component — you just need to enter your number of employees and annual cost by medical plan tier.
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