Energy Conference: Decarbonization - A Business Perspective REGISTER

House Ways & Means Chair Kevin Brady said on Thursday that no decisions have been made on whether Congress will delay a looming excise tax that is slated to be imposed on health insurance plans starting on Jan. 1.

A study commissioned by the UnitedHealth Group finds that New Jersey consumers will pay nearly $770 million more in health premiums in 2018 due to the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Tax (HIT).

The study, conducted by actuarial firm Oliver Wyman, finds that small businesses owners and their employees will pay $580 more in premiums next year, if the tax is reinstated. Nationally, premiums will increase by $22 billion next year.

Additionally, there will be premium increases of $642 for family coverage policies in New Jersey, according to the study. Seniors and disabled individuals in the Garden State who are covered under Medicare Advantage plans would pay nearly $540 more per couple, while consumers in the individual market would pay $186 more.

HIT was in place from 2014 to 2016. But in December, 2015, Congress placed a one-year moratorium on collecting the tax for all of 2017. That moratorium is scheduled to lift on Jan. 1, 2018. At that time, the regulation would hit insurance companies with a 4-6 percent tax on every plan sold. The tax was originally included in the ACA to raise new revenue for insurance coverage expansion and reform.

Brady, a Texas Republican, said this week he is working with Democrats on year-end legislation that could delay the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Tax for two years. But several reports, citing Congressional sources, have indicated those possible delays would be restricted to Obamacare exchanges, Medicare Advantage and Part D plans – meaning employer-sponsored and Medicaid plans would still be stung by the tax.

To see the Oliver Wyman study visit here.