HHS Begins to Prepare Consumers for Tax Season

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury announced the first in a series of consumer-friendly resources to help marketplace enrollees complete new tax forms related to their 2014 marketplace coverage and for those seeking an exemption from the personal responsibility fee. Soon after the announcement, CMS conducted a webinar for navigators and assisters that provided an in-depth review of the 1095-A Form, which CMS has begun distributing to all 2014 marketplace enrollees for use when completing new tax forms.

Researchers Predict Significant Enrollment Reductions and Premium Increases If Federal Marketplace Subsidies Struck Down

When the U.S. Supreme Court hears King v. Burwell later this year, it will decide whether to strike down subsidies on the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM). Researchers recently released two reports estimating the impacts of eliminating subsidies; according to RAND Corporation research, individual market (on and off the FFM) enrollment will drop by 9.6 million people and premiums will increase by 47% in FFM states. A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute brief estimated a similar decrease in enrollment in FFM states, and projected an increase in the overall uninsurance rate in FFM states by 44%, from 18.4 million to 26.6 million.

House Passes Bill to Relax ACA’s Employer Mandate

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Save American Workers Act, which would modify the ACA’s definition of full-time work from 30 or more hours per week to 40 for purposes of determining penalties under the employer mandate. The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the bill could increase budget deficits by $18 billion by 2020, decrease the number of employees receiving employer-based coverage by 1 million, and increase Medicaid/CHIP enrollment by 500,000. President Obama has stated he will veto the bill if passed by the Senate.