Welcome to May in Indiana – Spring (or maybe should say Summer!) is finally here!
NAHU called on members to take action in their latest Operation Shout to ask Congress to support legislation to make needed reforms to health savings accounts (HSAs). The Bipartisan HSA Improvement Act, H.R. 5138, was introduced in March by Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), If you have not responded to it, please do so.
The IRS released Notice 2018-17 that permits small employers to claim the small business tax credit (SBTC) for non-marketplace coverage if there are no options available on the small business health options (SHOP) marketplace.
HHS continues to work on a new Rule for Short Term Health Plans. The Comment period ended April 23rd. This would allow time frames to expand from 90 days to up to a year. It is hoped that the new guidelines would be implemented perhaps in 2019. But it could be 2020. Stay tuned.
As a reminder, CMS has issued the new payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans for 2019.
The Administration continues working on issuing guidance that will provide more flexibility for states to implement changes to their marketplaces via Section 1332 of ACA. How this might affect IN is yet to be seen. (See 1332 update under State House Update section.)
Work continues on return to a 40 hour workweek, HIT Tax repeal, HSA contributions, Hybrid Risk Pool’s, etc.
As always, continued Thanks goes to NAHU’s staff – eg, Janet Trautwein, John Greene, Chris Hartman and Marcy Buckner as they help direct the overall legislative process in D.C.
Other items –
Be sure to visit www.nahu.org for more detailed information on all NAHU Federal legislative activities.
State House Update
Also as a reminder, Section 1332 language was included in HB 1301 that passed in the last Session. This basically allows the Governor to apply for a state innovation waiver. Discussions are taking place amongst some of our Legislative folks as we speak. Additional discussions and meetings are being set with the IDOI, leaders in both the Indiana House and Senate and the Governor’s office. They will relate to the possible use of “risk pool” Federal and State funds to encourage more competition from a payer and plan standpoint. Use of non-compliant ACA product offerings is also a possibility. The new guidance from D.C. will become a part of discussions. All updates on such discussions will continue to be shared.
As I like to mention every month, the prevention of onerous Bills making it through the Legislature is due largely to ISAHU’s continued relationships with folks in the Governor’s office, Lt. Governor’s office and Statehouse that support our industry overall. These relationships also directly impact the efforts of our ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs, plus the efforts of our sister organizations – Big I, PIA, NAIFA, Insurance Institute, IMA, IN Chamber and NFIB. And it also affects the ongoing efforts of several ISAHU members who continue to work on maintaining such working relationships with Legislators that may impact support for any legislation of assistance or detriment to the industry.
Potential meetings on Section 1332 and possible exemption filing by the Governor will be discussed in the near future. Updates will be provided.
D. Hall represented ISAHU-PAC and attended a Fund Raiser for State Representative Jerry Torr (member of House Insurance Committee) in Carmel on April 23rd. He also had the opportunity to speak with State Senators John Ruckelshaus and Victoria Spartz and State Representative Donna Schaibley.
D. Hall attended represented HUPAC and attended a May 3rd fund raiser for Susan Brooks in Carmel, IN.
NAHU staff continue to be a vital part of ongoing discussions during this 115th Congress. Details are provided in the Washington Updates each Friday. Please be sure to read them which will assist you in responding to your client’s issues.
And I ask you to remember to thank the countless NAHU members around IN and the Country as a whole that continuously put in long hours to ensure the best information possible is being shared with Legislators, HHS, CMS, IRS, DOL, DOI’s and of course other NAHU members. As you know, much of this is always done in anonymity and solely for the benefit of the Association, our members and the general public.
And as always – ongoing THANKS to all the Local Legislative Chairs who serve on the Legislative Committee as well as those that serve on other committees. Your service is vitally important and greatly appreciated.
Ongoing simple message – IF you are not participating in both PAC’s – HUPAC – our Federal PAC and ISAHU-PAC – our State PAC, then PLEASE do so! Both PAC’s help support activities that really do make a difference in the ongoing legislative battles.
I and the rest of the ISAHU Legislative Committee greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with you to continue to promote real market based “healthcare reform”. Please feel welcome to contact any of us at any time.
Thanks for all you do to improve the healthcare system for your clients!
Dwight “D” Hall
ISAHU Legislative Chair