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|ECFC Issue: Excise Cadillac Tax|
repeal the cadillac tax
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a new excise tax, commonly referred to as the Cadillac Tax, on certain high-end health care plans. The tax is 40% of the value of a plan exceeding value of $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family (actual thresholds will be updated when tax takes effect). Although originally designed to take effect in 2018, Congress created a two-year delay now making its implementation date 2022. During that process, Congress also made the tax payments deductible for employers. Although the delay provided some relief, the marketplace has already started to prepare for the Cadillac tax, which will negatively impact the offering of HSAs and FSAs.
In particular, the statute is being interpreted to require the contributions made by individuals into their HSAs and FSAs to be deemed as if they were provided by the employer for purposes of calculating the tax. Since employers do not control amounts elected by employees, HSA and FSA contributions could push amounts over the excise tax thresholds resulting in employers limiting or eliminating employees’ ability to participate.
Impact of the CADILLAC Tax on the Marketplace
Based on the initial 2018 implementation date, preliminary analysis showed that 48 percent of employers were likely to trigger the tax when it took effect, and 82 percent could hit the threshold by 2023.Instead of having a tax that discourages overly generous health benefits, the tax will actually hit the majority of employer sponsored health plans that average Americans receive.
According to an American Health Policy Institute survey using data of large employers collected in 2015, the excise tax is already having, and will continue to have, a significant impact:
With regard to HSAs and FSAs, the American Health Policy Institute survey found:
It is clear that the excise tax will have an adverse impact on millions of American businesses and consumers. Although the tax has been delayed two years, the marketplace is reacting now in anticipation of the tax and preparing for 2022. Action must be taken now to counteract the unintended consequence of this provision. Consumer directed arrangements such as FSAs, and HSAs help keep healthcare costs down and allow middle class families to save for and manage their health care bills. The tax should be repealed given its impact on consumers, employers and all consumer directed arrangements.