I have previously posted on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on August 31st, 2015. I have also followed Utah’s recent failed proposal for Medicaid expansion on September 29, 2015, October 6, 2015 and October 14, 2015.
As part of the budget process negotiated by Congress and the White House, a somewhat obscure provision of the Affordable Care Act will be repealed. The provision is known as the automatic enrollment provision.
It is in Section 1511 of the Act and provides that large employers, with more than 200 full-time employees, will automatically enroll their workers in health plans under the Act. It allows for worker’s to opt-out of the employer-sponsored plans and find alternative coverage, rather than opting in, thus nudging workers to accept employer-sponsored health care plans.
The provision was supposed to be implemented by regulations written by the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice by the end of 2014. But there was pressure against it from employers, particularly in the restaurant and retail industries. Moreover, even some liberal advocacy groups were against it because of concerns that low-income workers would be forced into high-priced plans or plans that did not provide enough coverage.
It is expected this repeal will lead to about 750,000 fewer workers accepting health care coverage from their employers. Of these, a small portion will likely apply for Medicaid coverage or seek subsidized coverage on one of the Act’s marketplace exchanges.
The repeal will result in more expected revenue and higher expenses for the government. The additional revenue is expected because money employers provide for employee health care plans is exempt from taxes. This money will go towards wages, which are taxable. Government expenses will rise because of the small number of people who will likely apply for Medicaid coverage or seek subsidized coverage on a health care exchange.
It is expected the deficit will increase by a little less than $1 billion per year, or a little less than $8 billion over a decade. (It seems like everything adds to the deficit these days, much like almost everything I do seems to make me gain a little bit of weight). The deficit increase is relatively small given the price tag of the law, which will insure millions of people at a cost in the hundreds of millions per year.
Information from this article was obtained from an article in the Huffington Post online at:
(visited October 28, 2015).
This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation, but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted.