Despite what you may have heard, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its regulations are still intact for 2018.
Over the past year, President Trump signed a number of executive orders attempting to dismantle various provisions of the ACA, but these orders have left the landscape largely unchanged. Similarly, attempts by Congress to repeal the regulation lacked the support to affect real change, particularly where employers are concerned.
The administration did score one recent win, by repealing the ACA individual mandate as part of the GOP tax reform bill. The change was announced just before tax season, which means reporting this year will be especially confusing.
As trusted tax and accounting professionals, it’s likely more individuals and employers will turn to you for filing guidance. Those who are up-to-date and understand the latest regulations are best positioned to help clients achieve ACA compliance and avoid steep penalties.
The Tax Bill and the Individual Mandate
In December Trump announced his most important health care decision: to repeal the individual mandate as part of the tax bill. But the tax bill doesn’t actually repeal this provision of the law. The bill only zeroes out the penalties for not carrying health insurance, and in fact, it won’t do so until 2019. This year, individuals are still required to have health coverage that meets the minimum essential coverage (MEC) standards, or risk being fined. Individuals won't see a difference on their tax forms until they file their returns in 2020.