For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) submitted comments related to Section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of the Treasury urging the federal government to be vigilant to ensure that state activity does not violate the federal law that governs employer health benefit plans.
ERIC members, large employers that offer comprehensive group health benefits to their employees, are extremely interested in the ongoing declaration and enforcement of rules relating to the federal requirements placed upon group health plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and other federal laws. Until the recent change to Section 1332 Waivers, states were required to enact or amend state laws to authorize someone, usually the Insurance Commissioner, to apply for a waiver. The latest guidance eliminates this requirement, instead providing that a state regulation or executive order will suffice, so long as there is a law already on the books authorizing enforcement of the ACA.
In its comments, ERIC stressed that if state authorization legislation is no longer required to apply for a Section 1332 Waiver, evaluation of waiver applications for compliance with ERISA will be of utmost importance. ERIC believes that the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration should play a role in the evaluation for ERISA compliance.
“The employer community, the largest source of health insurance coverage in America, recognizes the importance of a stable individual insurance market and supports state efforts to increase flexibility, lower costs, and ensure that state residents can obtain affordable health insurance. However, ERIC believes that state waiver applications need to be evaluated for compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which preempts state laws that ‘relate to’ employer-sponsored health plans. Employer-sponsored plans should not be a payfor in these waiver concepts.” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO, ERIC.
Click here to read ERIC’s comments.