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Employer forecast: 2017

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Predicting Republican priorities

It doesn’t appear that the United States is any closer to resolving its years of healthcare debate. With President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress set to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or at least key parts of it, employers are struggling to make key decisions around their healthcare strategy for 2017 and beyond.

While we don’t have all the answers, we’re paying close attention to give our clients the best advice possible. Check out our webinar, 2017 Employer Forecast, to hear from Brian Tolbert, who leads Bernard’s team of employer advisors.

Read on for a brief overview:

Employers—here's what you need to know:


•Employer mandate

This is the item most employers are concerned about. While Trump took steps against the individual mandate on his first day in office, so far, the employer mandate is still standing. While it may be repealed, we are recommending employers move forward on 1095-C reporting as planned.

•Defined contributions

Policies proposed by leading Republicans include expanding defined contributions. We already recommend employers consider this strategy, as it can freeze healthcare costs while allowing organizations to offer more benefit choices. For more on this, click here.

Capping the tax exclusion

Though repealing the ACA would likely lead to a repeal on the Cadillac tax, a 40 percent excise tax on plans that exceed a “luxury” threshold, Republican policies also call for capping the employer tax exclusion, meaning benefits are tax-free for employers and employees up to a certain amount. This means bending the cost curve will still remain a priority for employers in 2017 and beyond.

While much remains unknown, Republicans have signified the above items as priorities for healthcare. While these could change as debates begin in earnest, we think these are the policies most likely to affect employers.

Want to hear more? Click here for the free webinar, or download our 2017 Employer Strategic Guide, featuring:
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