On December 20, 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This Act made significant changes to individual and corporate U.S. tax code provisions. The bill includes permanent repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate, requiring individuals to purchase and maintain health coverage and zeros out the penalty beginning in 2019.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) included a significant change to Essential Health Benefits (EHB) in its 2019 Notice of Benefits and Payment Parameters proposed regulations. If included in the final regulations, states will be able to choose a new state benchmark plan annually beginning in 2019 by selecting another state’s benchmark, replacing one or more EHB groups with the same groups from another state, or selecting a new benchmark. We expect to hear more about these proposed changes in 2018.