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House to take up legislation targeting Obamacare provisions

September 11, 2018

The House is scheduled this week to consider H.R. 3798, the “Save American Workers Act of 2018.” The legislation would, among other things, retroactively suspend the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) from 2015 through 2018, and change the definition of “full-time employee” for employer mandate purposes by increasing the requisite average number of hours worked per week from 30 to 40.

The original version of H.R. 3798, which provided the hourly change described above and a corresponding change to computing “full-time equivalents” based on hours worked per month, was combined with H.R. 1150 (the “Tanning Tax Repeal Act of 2017”), H.R. 6718 (an Act “to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide that health insurance coverage statements are required to be provided to individuals only upon request”), and H.R. 4616 (an Act “to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to provide for a temporary moratorium on the employer mandate and to provide for a delay in the implementation of the excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage”).

According to a Ways and Means summary, the legislation would:

  • . . . for purposes of the employer mandate, replace the 30-house-per-week definition of a full-time employee, and 120-hours-per-month definition of full-time equivalent, with respective thresholds of 40 hours and 174 hours, retroactively effective beginning in 2014;
  • . . . grant retroactive relief from the employer mandate from 2015 through 2018, such that any employer that owed a penalty for failing to provide coverage during that period would no longer owe it;
  • . . . delay the excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage (i.e., the “Cadillac” tax) for an additional year, until 2023;
  • . . . repeal the excise tax on indoor tanning services, effective in calendar quarters beginning more than 30 days after the date of enactment; and
  • . . . make health insurance coverage statements, which currently must be provided to individuals, available on a by-request basis (i.e., because the individual mandate penalty has been removed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, P.L. 115-97, 12/22/2017, so the statements are no longer necessary for compliance purposes).© 2018 Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting. All Rights Reserved.