Responding to the expressed needs of small business groups and multi-employer health plans like LIUNA’s health and welfare funds, President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats last month joined House and Senate Republicans in rescinding a key provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

With this rescission, employers and groups that provide health insurance benefits worth more than $600 a year will not be required to issue Form 1099s to employees who receive the benefits. Had they received such 1099s, employees would have had to report the value of the benefits as income on their tax returns and pay tax accordingly.

LIUNA signatory employers, many of which are small businesses, are now exempt from the 1099 requirement, and Laborers will not have to account for the value of their health care benefits when computing their taxes.

Because the rescission eliminates part of the Act’s funding, Congress agreed to a complex mechanism that reduces subsidies that PPACA otherwise allots low- and middle-income people to purchase health insurance.

Meanwhile, on the regulatory front, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that PPACA’s Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) will not accept any more applications after May 5. The program was designed to provide financial assistance to a variety of entities, including union health and welfare funds that provide health insurance to early retirees. A report on the program, detailing reimbursements received by each recipient plan sponsor, is available form CMS.

The LHSFNA’s Health Promotion Division monitors on-going developments with PPACA at its Health Care Reform Updates page.

[Steve Clark]