Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ended what had been one of the strongest challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At issue was whether individuals in states that opted not to build their own exchanges — 6.4 million people in 34 states — are eligible to receive health insurance subsidies under the law.
With this case, King v. Burwell, the fate of the ACA hung in the balance because the subsidies are key to making the law’s health insurance mandate work. While questions about the ACA and potential changes remain, the Supreme Court’s ruling effectively ended attempts to stop the law. The law is here to stay.
Employers should expect implementation to continue as planned, with the federal agencies charged with enforcing the ACA’s various provisions setting course for compliance. New rules, like the recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) rule to ensure employer health incentive programs comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, will continue to be proposed and finalized.
In fact, in the coming weeks we expect the EEOC’s proposed rule to be finalized and a new rule addressing how employer health incentives programs should comply with another existing law, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, to be proposed.
Meanwhile, health care costs continue to far outpace wages and inflation, giving businesses even greater urgency to reduce their health care spending, and new and innovative point solutions — from apps and wearables to telemedicine services — are introduced every day.
That gives employers a lot to handle. At Jiff, we stand ready to help you make sense of it all. We know that employers want to take advantage of ACA’s expansion of cost-saving employee health benefits and incentives programs, and at the same time be on the cutting edge by adopting the most innovative technologies.