Cadillac tax delayed again, to 2022

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On Jan. 22, President Donald Trump signed a short-term federal spending bill that included another two-year delay of the “Cadillac tax” on employer-sponsored health plans.
The excise tax, created as part of the Affordable Care Act, was originally due to take effect in 2018, but has been delayed twice, now until 2022.
Despite a further delay of its implementation and talk of possibly repealing the tax, municipal employers are advised to continue to factor the tax into health plan design decisions.
The tax was intended as a health cost-control mechanism that would discourage employers from offering high-cost health plans. The Cadillac tax will assess a 40 percent annual excise on individual health plans that cost more than $10,200 per year and family plans that cost more than $27,500.
Massachusetts municipal employers are likely to reach these thresholds in greater numbers than employers in other regions of the country, due to the higher cost of health care here, the use of benefit plans to attract and retain top-notch employees, and the plans that municipal labor unions have negotiated through collective bargaining. The tax thresholds will rise more slowly than health care inflation, meaning that more plans will be subject to the tax over time.
In an effort to manage health insurance costs and avoid the Cadillac tax, municipal employers may pursue higher copays and deductibles, the initiation of co-insurance, the elimination of high-cost plans, a phase-out of flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts and health reimbursement accounts, and the adoption of lower-cost limited network plans.
There is bipartisan support in Congress for repealing the Cadillac tax, but there is no consensus yet on how to replace the revenue that would be lost from a repeal.