Employer-sponsored health coverage is the backbone of the U.S. health care system. Retailers have long-provided their employees with quality health coverage and would like to continue doing so. However, burdensome, costly and often redundant federal laws and regulations bind the hands of employers and make it more difficult to continue to provide health coverage, create jobs and grow the economy. RILA is committed to working with Congress and federal agencies to ensure that retailers can continue to provide quality, affordable health coverage that is customized to meet the specific needs of their employees.
RILA members are at the forefront of developing new innovative approaches designed to encourage preventative health, improve outcomes, and lower health care costs. RILA has been a driving force in opposition to modify the tax treatment of employer-sponsored coverage to pay for a new individual health tax credit. RILA is also working closely with lawmakers to educate them about the problems with a Medicare-for-All or nationalized health system that eliminates employer-sponsored coverage.
40 Percent Excise Tax on Health Plans:
Retailers are proud to provide health coverage to millions of employees and their families, as they have done for decades. As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), those responsible retailers will also be required to pay a 40 percent excise tax on the employer-sponsored health coverage and benefits for current and former employees, a surviving spouse, and dependents that exceed a statutory dollar threshold. RILA is concerned about the impact this tax could have on the availability of benefits to millions of retail employees and their families.
In January of 2018, Congress delayed implementation of this 40 percent excise tax until 2022. While this temporary reprieve is welcome, absent further Congressional action, this tax will be imposed on employer-sponsored coverage and levied on benefits. This includes employer and employee contributions to consumer-directed health products, wellness programs, and services in on-site clinics. RILA will continue to advocate for full repeal on this tax.
Employer Reporting Requirements:
RILA is the leader in enacting streamlined, commonsense reforms to burdensome and costly ACA employer reporting requirements. RILA has continually stressed to lawmakers and federal regulators that the Exchange eligibility process and employer reporting requirements should be aligned to tax credit determinations. This would provide more accurate and timely information and the regulatory burden on employers would be lessened.
Modernization of Consumer-Directed Health Products:
Over the last several years, many RILA member companies have moved away from traditional fee-for-service plan offerings to a system coupling a health savings account (HSA) with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). This transition is guided by retailer’s innovative approach to customizing benefit designs and creating health plans that best meet the needs of their employees and families. However, Congress has not substantially updated HSA laws since 2003. RILA will continue to advocate for the modernization of HSAs that provide more flexibility and value for retail employees. RILA supports allowing employees to access onsite or retail primary care clinics, pre-deductible coverage for chronic disease management, and opportunities to use HSAs for fitness or wellness activities.