America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)

Return of ACA insurer tax will bring in $15.5 billion

A monthly statement showing premiums for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Insurers pass on the ACA tax in premiums. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Health insurance companies will have to pay $15.5 billion next year if the Affordable Care Act's tax on insurers resumes as planned, the IRS said in a notice on Tuesday.

The big picture: Insurers hate the tax because it eats into profits, and companies pass along the costs to consumers through higher premiums. The industry has a few months left to persuade lawmakers to delay or kill the tax.

The war over Medicare Advantage audits heats up

A man in a motorized cart gets examined by a doctor with a stethoscope at his kitchen table.
A doctor visits an older adult at his home. Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The health insurance industry again is attacking federal proposals that would more aggressively audit Medicare Advantage claims for improper coding — audits that would save taxpayers upwards of $4.5 billion over the next decade.

The big picture: Medicare Advantage is the growth engine of the insurance industry, which has successfully delayed changes and neutered audits.