Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY

American Health Care Act Summary

How does this affect me as a member?


Individual Mandate Repeal: The AHCA repeals the ACA’s requirements that most individuals obtain health insurance or face tax penalties. Were it to become law, the effective date would be January 1, 2016, providing retroactive relief to those affected by the penalty in 2016.


It is important to note that in New York State, many parts of the AHCA may not be applicable. New York has a long history of rich benefits and consumer protections, including community rating, as opposed to age ratio ratings, and mandates to cover pre-existing conditions. Additionally, the AHCA bars the use of tax credits for plans that include abortion coverage, which is a mandated benefit in New York State. The impact of the AHCA or any replacement legislation on New York will heavily rely on interpretation from federal and state regulators as much as the actual legislative language.


To encourage individuals to maintain insurance coverage, beginning in 2019 the AHCA permits insurers to impose a 30% surcharge on premiums for 12 months for individuals who go two months or more without health care coverage and then purchase health insurance in that same year. There has also been a lot of debate on the impact of the AHCA on “pre-existing conditions” and high risk pool funding. We are continuing to analyze the high risk pools provisions of the AHCA and how they will impact consumers with preexisting conditions. As the legislation works its way through the Senate, we hope for more clarity on how these provisions will be implemented to best serve our members.


The AHCA would continue to allow young adults to remain on their parent’s insurance until age 26. The AHCA repeals or delays more than a dozen taxes that were used to help finance the ACA:

• Health Insurance Tax – Repeals the tax on health insurance, which adds about 3% to premiums.

• Net Investment Tax — Repeals the 3.8% tax on net investment income for taxpayers with incomes more than $200,000 or $250,000 for couples.

• Medical Device Tax — Repeals 2.3% medical device tax imposed on a wide array of devices.

• Chronic Care Tax — Repeals the increased threshold for the itemized deduction of unreimbursed medical expenses.

• Cadillac Tax — Delays until 2026 the law's tax on certain high-value, employer-sponsored health insurance plans.


*Sources: Congressional Quarterly, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal


News and Media

August 3, 2017:
Senators Plan Bipartisan Hearings On Health Care

Dave Anderson, CEO of HealthNow New York, talks with Steve Inskeep about lawmakers' plans to hold bipartisan hearings on health insurance exchanges. NPR's Scott Horsley has details and analysis.


June 6, 2017:
What's next for the American Health Care Act

The Point of Health podcast features Donald Ingalls, Vice President, State and Federal Relations of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. The episode covers the latest updates on Republican's efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.


Need to understand a term?

View our helpful Health Care Reform Glossary to understand frequent terms and definitions.


Need more information?

Contact us: