The Benefits Portfolio

Don’t Get Run Over by the Cadillac Tax

Understanding how the tax works and what employers can do now to reduce exposure to the tax

The excise tax, also known as Cadillac Tax goes into effect January 2018. The BenefitFocus white paper “Don’t Get Run Over by the Cadillac Tax” explains how the tax will be imposed. 

October 29, 2015 — CHARLESTON, S.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), a leading provider of cloud-based benefits management software today published its latest white paper, “Don’t Get Run Over by the Cadillac Tax,” a guide to understanding the Cadillac Tax.

Co-authored by Christopher E. Condeluci, Affordable Care Act (ACA) specialist and employee benefits attorney who participated in the development of portions of the ACA, including the Cadillac Tax; and BENEFITFOCUS® Benefitstore Vice President Jeff Oldham, this 18-page paper discusses how the tax will be levied and what employers can do now to mitigate exposure to the tax, which goes into effect January 2018.

“Now is the time for employers to take action, by providing their employees with the tools and education to allow them to be successful in the new consumer-driven health care world,” said Oldham. “Our research shows that nearly 50 percent of large employers (1,000 or more employees) on our technology platform offer a consumer directed health plan (CDHP), which is one way of mitigating the tax,” said Oldham. He explains in the paper how employers can apply a combination of health and wealth care tools and consumer-driven technology to gradually empower employees as they continue to assume greater responsibility for their health care.

Commonly referred to as the Cadillac Tax, and part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the tax is meant to discourage overly generous healthcare benefits by imposing a 40 percent excise tax on plans worth more than $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,500 for families. Proceeds of the tax, which would be assessed on insurers, administrators of self-insured benefits, and employers in certain cases, would be used to help fund the ACA’s coverage expansion. The paper is available for download on

Policymakers could affect the long-term future of the Cadillac Tax

The paper offers a perspective on how Congress intended this new tax to work, and discusses recent guidance issued by the Department of Treasury (Treasury) on how the tax is to be implemented. Recognition is given to the policy debate in Washington, DC regarding repeal of the tax, in addition to efforts to carve-out from the tax’s calculation employee salary reduction contributions to a Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) and a Health Savings Account (HSA).

the tax is meant to discourage overly generous healthcare benefits by imposing a 40 percent excise tax on plans worth more than $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,500 for families

“It is important for employers and plan administrators to understand that repeal of the Cadillac Tax may not materialize anytime soon, and as a result, stakeholders should take the necessary steps to understand their potential tax exposure sooner rather than later,” said Condeluci. He adds that as the debate surrounding the tax continues to evolve, and as more guidance on implementation comes from Treasury, planning for a world where there is some sort of limitation on the tax-preference for employer plans is advisable.





Employers interested in learning more can also register to join Chris Condeluci and Jeff Oldham for a Benefitfocus webinar on November 11, 2015.
About Benefitfocus
Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) is a leading provider of cloud-based benefits management software for consumers, employers, insurance carriers and brokers. Benefitfocus has served more than 25 million consumers on its platform that consists of an integrated portfolio of products and services enabling clients to more efficiently shop, enroll, manage and exchange benefits information. With a user-friendly interface and consumer-centric design, the Benefitfocus Platform provides one place for consumers to access all their benefits. Benefitfocus solutions support the administration of all types of benefits including core medical, dental and other voluntary benefits plans as well as wellness programs. For more information, visit
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: the need to innovate and provide useful products and services; changes in government regulations; the immature and volatile nature of the market for our products and services and other factors that could impact our anticipated growth; management of growth; fluctuations in our financial results; general economic risks; reliance on key personnel; our ability to compete effectively; our ability to maintain our culture and recruit and retain qualified personnel; privacy, security and other risks associated with our business; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in our SEC filings, copies of which are available free of charge within the Investor Relations section of the Benefitfocus website at or upon request from our investor relations department. Benefitfocus assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.