Rules for Equal Health Care Coverage by Employers Still Absent in Health Care Law

Much has been made of the kind of impact that the new health care laws have had on doctors and medical care providers. However, one potential provision of those laws is still being delayed by the Obama administration.

Since the beginning of the year, tax officials have said they would not in 2014 enforce a provision that would prohibit employers from providing better health benefits to their top-level executives than to other employees. According to these officials, they still need to issue a set of regulations for employers to follow before enforcing provisions of this sort.

According to language in the Affordable Care Act, any employer-sponsored health plans must not discriminate in the favor of any “highly compensated individuals” within the company in regard to health care benefits or eligibility. The idea is that given the government is providing major tax breaks on employer-sponsored insurance plans, they should not tilt the balance of their benefits in the favor of those who are already being paid higher.

At this point, those provisions have not been enforced. The ban on this sort of discrimination in health benefits was originally supposed to kick into effect six months after the new health care law was signed in March 2010. Ever since then, Obama administration officials have said they required additional time to develop some of the specific regulations in the law. When the law went into effect in January 2014, some of these provisions were still being worked on.

There is a similar ban in place — and has been for 30 years — on employers that act as their own insurers. Once the provision goes into place, it is expected to be a major benefit toward the general public that receives employer-sponsored plans.

For now, these individuals are left to continue waiting for the provision to be officially enacted. Speak with an experienced health care lawyer with Buttaci Leardi & Werner, LLC for more information and guidance.

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Posted in: Regulation