NAHU joined the National Coalition on Benefits in sending a letter last Friday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in support of the employer exclusion of health insurance, health savings accounts (HSAs), and for a full repeal of the health insurance tax (HIT). NAHU has been a leading advocate of the employer exclusion, has led efforts to delay and repeal the Cadillac/excise tax, and this letter, where NAHU was joined by more than 50 other industry groups, is a continuation of our efforts to ensure that employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) does not become taxed under legislation currently being considered by the Senate.
Current discussions over the Senate’s version of health reform have included proposals that would begin taxing ESI coverage to help to offset the costs of repealing the ACA and implementing their own health policies. The letter called out the potential for destabilizing the ESI system, which currently provides coverage for upwards of 177 million Americans, by either taxing ESI coverage or retaining the Cadillac tax. The letter also called for a full repeal of other ACA taxes, an elimination of the employer mandate penalties, linking the annual HSA contribution limit to the maximum out-of-pocket limit, fixing the HSA catch-up contribution glitch, creating a grace period in between HSA-qualified plan enrollment and establishment of an HSA, eliminating the cap on Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs), and allowing the use of tax-preferred health accounts to purchase over-the-counter medications without a prescription.