Is your HRMS benefits management module Trump ready?

A previous post flagged up some possible impacts of the US election last year. Well, the election is long over and we’re 100+ days into Donald Trump’s presidency. The longer-term impacts of his government on HR practices and procedures will no doubt continue to play out, but already we can see the new administration is having an effect on organizations, large and small.

The Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare

Trump was very clear that he intended to repeal the ACA immediately on taking office, making it one of his key campaign promises. Despite two initial abortive attempts, it was only in early May 2017 that the House voted to repeal the ACA, though at the time of writing, the new health care bill has yet to be passed by the Senate. A brief summary of the new bill’s contents are:

  • The elimination of ACA taxes on insurers and the wealthy.
  • No more individual mandate.
  • Refundable tax credits to assist in purchasing health insurance (instead of the ACA’s subsidies).
  • Insurers will be able to charge higher premiums to customers in their 50s and early 60s.
  • Federal support for Medicaid would be significantly reduced.
  • Overall less protection for people with pre-existing conditions.

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If it is passed into law then employers can expect to have to do some major updating of their HRMS’ benefits management data.

Health Savings Accounts

Since their introduction in 2003, health savings accounts (HSAs) have been increasing in popularity with their significant tax advantages. However, they remain somewhat restricted in terms of who can use them. Trump’s plan is to greatly expand the role of HSAs in the US’s health coverage, de-restricting and expanding this method of paying for health care. With the White House’s ‘ACA replacement’ now moving through Congress, it’s likely that the future will see much wider use of HSAs, and that will require more from your HRMS’s benefits management module, keeping track of individual employee choices.

Employer reporting

Of course, in the meantime employers should continue to manage benefits on a ‘business as usual’ basis until new legislation is approved. That means continuing with the mandatory reporting requirements under the employer shared responsibility provisions of the ACA.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall

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