Bipartisan bill seeks to delay health insurance tax by 2 years

U.S. Capitol at dusk
A new bill seeks to delay the health insurance tax. (Pixabay/skeeze)

A bipartisan group of policymakers has introduced a bill that would delay the ACA’s health insurance tax until after 2021. 

The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Ami Bera, D-Calif.; Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J.; Jackie Walorski, R-Ind.; and Kenny Marchant, R-Texas. The legislators note that data from America’s Health Insurance Plans suggests the tax could boost premiums by more than $470 per family in 2020 if it’s implemented as scheduled. 

“Failing to pass the bill, which would ensure the health insurance tax is delayed for another two years, would cause millions of American families to see higher health insurance premiums,” Bera said in a statement

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“In a time of rising premiums and healthcare costs, preventing the health insurance tax from adding to those costs is necessary as we work to stabilize the insurance markets and lower healthcare costs,” he said. 

RELATED: Trump administration seeking feedback on how to support grandfathered ACA group plans 

The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance tax is a levy on insurers and has been suspended multiple times. Insurers paid $8 million under the tax in 2014 and $11 billion in 2015. The tax was suspended in 2017, put in place again for the 2018 plan year and then suspended once more for 2019. 

The Joint Commission estimated that delaying the tax could cost the federal government more than $31 billion over the next decade. 

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., introduced a similar bill in January

AHIP praised the bill. The group’s president, Matt Eyles, said in a statement that delaying the tax once again is an important step toward providing affordable premiums. 

“Suspending the health insurance tax will help drive down premiums and costs for millions of Americans who get coverage through their jobs, buy their own coverage or are covered through Medicare Advantage or Medicaid managed care,” he said. 

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