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3 Things We Now Know About How Obamacare Might Change

March 6, 2017

While it’s not a finished product, GOP lawmakers are expected to unveil legislation sometime this week to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

employer health care
CCIG’s Scott McGraw.

According to various news reports, here’s a general idea of three changes the Republicans will attempt to push through.

1. It would seek to protect people with pre-existing conditions

The ObamaCare provision that bars insurers from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions will stay in place.

However, insurers would be allowed to charge people 30 percent higher premiums for one year if they have had a gap in their healthcare coverage.

  1. It would repeal all of the taxes created under ObamaCare

The Health Insurance Tax and the excise tax on medical devices would be gone.

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Instead, a new tax would be imposed on the richest healthcare plans that people obtain through their employers. Right now, most employer-provided health coverage is exempt from taxation.

The tax would be adjusted for factors including cost of living. HSA contributions made on a pre-tax basis will not be counted toward the cost of coverage for purposes of the cap.

(For the record, insurance interests (including yours truly) don’t like this idea one bit. Imposing a tax on employer-sponsored health plans is a dangerous policy experiment that could significantly erode employer-sponsored health coverage. Any cap on the tax exclusion is a direct tax on employees and the middle class.)

  1. It would let the states decide what insurance plans must cover

Gone would be the requirement that insurance plans cover a set of 10 healthcare services. Instead, states would be given the power to decide which benefits a plan must cover.

Known as essential health benefits, these services, critics say, drive up the cost of insurance by mandating that plans cover certain items that not everybody wants, like maternity coverage.

Scott McGraw is Vice President of CCIG’s Employee Benefits division. He can be reached at 720-330-7924 or

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