The House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees have advanced parts of the Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, also known as the Build Back Better Act. " According to an article by the Society of Human Resource Management, it could significantly alter retirement, paid leave, and health benefits. The bill would make the following changes:
- Marketplace Coverage for Employees: Weaken the firewall that prevents employees from receiving tax credits when purchasing Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace plans if their employer offers affordable health coverage. It would also make permanent the American Rescue Plan Act's increased federal subsidies for ACA marketplace plans.
- ACA Affordability Threshold: Under the ACA, the lowest-cost, self-only health plan option an employer offers cannot charge employee premiums that exceed 9.5 percent of an employee's income. The Ways and Means Committee proposal would permanently reduce the affordability threshold to 8.5 percent and eliminate the indexing requirement. It would go into effect during the 2022 plan year.
- Retirement Plans: Require employers with more than five workers to provide access to a retirement plan that automatically enrolls employees by 2023. Employers would not be required to make contributions.
- Paid Leave: Create a federally funded paid-leave program for private-sector workers.