Health Care Reform & Compliance 

Health care is a top priority for the supermarket industry, from both the employer perspective of offering our employees quality and affordable health coverage to keeping up with the health and wellness themes that concern our customers.

Impact of the House-Passed American Health Care Act

On May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act by a 217-213 vote. Notable provisions of the American Health Care Act include:

  • Elimination of Employer Mandates, Penalties:  Reduces penalties for employers under ACA coverage mandates to zero, but technically leaves the mandates in place.  If enacted, HHS may issue a statement of non-enforcement.
  • Repeal, Delay of ACA Taxes, Fees:  “Temporarily” repeals the ACA’s “Cadillac Tax” through December 2025, repeals a tax surcharge on health insurance carriers, and discontinues the reinsurance fee that had previously been charged on self-insured health plans. 
  • Bolstering of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs):  Restores the ability of consumers to use FSAs to purchase OTC medicines without a prescription.  Increases the allowable employer and individual tax-free contributions, allows for “catch-up” contributions, and rollovers. 
  • Tax Credits toward individuals’ health coverage purchases to replace “individual mandate”:  Removes penalties for individuals who do not purchase health coverage and phases in an “advanceable” tax credit based on age and income for individuals who are not offered employer-sponsored coverage. 
  • Phaseout of ACA Medicaid Expansion towards Block Grants, Tax Credits and state plans to provide coverage options for low-income, high-risk individuals:  Phaseout of Medicaid expansion by allowing states to retain federal matching to current Medicaid enrollees through 2020 to be replaced by Medicaid or block-grant funding to states and phase-in of individuals’ eligibility for advanceable health tax credits.  Provides “safety net” funding to states that have not adopted Medicaid expansion for individuals between 100% and 138% poverty-line.
  • Replacement of ACA without being funded by fees on self-insured plans:  Creates a Patient and State Innovation and Stability Fund for states to use and explore to stabilize and lower cost for high-risk insurance pools to replace the ACA reinsurance program that was funded by fees on self-insured plans.
  • Does NOT include a “cap” on tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health benefits:  FMI supported the removal a provision from earlier drafts that would have put a “cap” the exclusion of health benefits from individuals’ or employers’ taxable income.
FMI Support Letter for American Health Care Act
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Questions?
For questions or more information, please contact FMI's Senior Director, Food & Health Policy Rob Rosado.

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The FMI Government Relations Committee reviews, formulates and recommends to the Public Affairs Committee the programs and positions necessary to represent the interests of grocery retailers and wholesalers before the federal and state governments. The Committee recommends priorities and directions for the maximum utilization of FMI's resources and assists in influencing and implementing government relations programs at the national and state levels.

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