This week a reader asks, “Have any provisions of PPACA been amended or repealed since it was enacted last year?”
Yes, several provisions in PPACA have been amended or repealed since its enactment in March 2010.
In April 2011, the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011 (H.R. 4) was signed into law. That legislation repeals the expansion of the Form 1099‐MISC reporting requirements enacted by PPACA, which, among other things, would have required 1099‐MISC reporting of payments to corporations (which are largely exempt under the existing regulations). The expansion of the 1099-MISC reporting rules in PPACA would have imposed extensive reporting burdens on all businesses, particularly small businesses.
H.R. 4 also changed the PPACA health care tax credit provisions under which certain individuals will be provided a subsidy beginning in 2014 to purchase health insurance on an exchange. PPACA provided generally that individuals who receive an “advance” subsidy in excess of the amount to which the individual was eligible (based on household income) must repay all or a portion of the excess amount, based on a sliding scale (again according to the individual’s household income). To offset the cost of other revenue-losing provisions in H.R. 4, the bill increased the portion of the excess subsidy that individuals will have to repay.
The Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 1473), the bill signed into law in April 2011 to keep the federal government funded through September 2011, includes several other changes to PPACA. Most notably, H.R. 1473 repeals the free-choice voucher requirement under which employers would have been required to provide “free choice vouchers” to certain employees beginning in 2014. Under PPACA, employers generally would have been required to provide vouchers to qualified employees whose required contribution for minimum essential coverage through the employer’s plan exceeded 8% but was less than 9.8% of the employee’s household income for the year, whose household income did not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level, and who did not participate in a health plan offered by the employer. The amount of the voucher would have been the most generous amount the employer would have contributed for self-only (or family, if applicable) coverage under the employer’s plan. As a result of H.R. 1473, employers will no longer have to offer vouchers. Employers will, however, still be subject to the “shared responsibility” requirements, otherwise known as the “pay or play” employer mandate.
H.R. 1473 also repeals over $2 billion of the funding for the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) Program enacted in PPACA. Under the CO-OP program, the federal government will provide grants to new nonprofit, member-run health insurance issuers that plan to offer qualified health plans in the individual and small group markets beginning in 2014.
In addition, H.R. 1473 requires various audits relating to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including a direction to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit (and report to Congress within 60 days of enactment) on the HHS annual limit waiver program. The GAO recently issued a report on its audit of the program.
Got a health-care reform question? You can ask YOUR health-care reform legislation question online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/second_opinions
You can find a handy list of Key Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and their effective dates at http://www.groom.com/HCR-Chart.html
Christy Tinnes is a Principal in the Health & Welfare Group of Groom Law Group in Washington, D.C. She is involved in all aspects of health and welfare plans, including ERISA, HIPAA portability, HIPAA privacy, COBRA, and Medicare. She represents employers designing health plans as well as insurers designing new products. Most recently, she has been extensively involved in the insurance market reform and employer mandate provisions of the health-care reform legislation.
Brigen Winters is a Principal at Groom Law Group, Chartered, where he co-chairs the firm's Policy and Legislation group. He counsels plan sponsors, insurers, and other financial institutions regarding health and welfare, executive compensation, and tax-qualified arrangements, and advises clients on legislative and regulatory matters, with a particular focus on the recently enacted health-reform legislation.
PLEASE NOTE: This feature is intended to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.