Retailers Excited about Health Care Fix


The National Retail Federation today welcomed language included in the budget deal set for a vote in Congress that would repeal a portion of the Affordable Care Act requiring large employers to automatically enroll workers in health care  plans

“This is the second significant reform to the ACA this month”

“Automatic enrollment would require employers to sign employees up for health care whether workers want it or not,” NRF Vice President for Health Care Policy Neil Trautwein said. “That ignores the fact that many workers are already covered through a spouse or parent or otherwise, and would unnecessarily duplicate coverage and costs. That’s not a productive use of our nation’s health care resources, and would create one more unneeded administrative burden for  businesses.”

“This is the second significant reform to the ACA this month,” Trautwein said. “We hope this is a trend toward making this challenging law more  workable.”

Under the ACA, companies with 200 or more workers would be required to automatically enroll full-time employees in health care plans after 30 days. The requirement has not yet gone into effect because the Department of Labor has not issued the necessary regulations. The budget agreement waiting for a vote in the House includes a provision that would repeal the  requirement.

Earlier this month, President Obama signed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act. That measure blocked an ACA requirement that would have pushed companies with between 50 and 100 workers into the small-group health insurance market, which carries higher premiums and additional mandates than the large-group market. Most states currently define small-group as 50 workers or  less.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.

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