Less than 24 hours after the annoucement was circulated, health insurance and employer benefit trade groups appear supportive, rather than critical, of the administration’s decision to delay implementation of PPACA’s employer mandate provision. If anything, they have implied a collective sigh of relief that they will be given an additional year to implement the complex law. What are some of the most influential health care policy decision-makers saying? Read on to hear from six of them.
1. National Association of Health Underwriters
2. America’s Health Insurance Plans
Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, said that “We appreciate that the administration is being responsive to the concerns employers and insurers have raised about the workability of the reporting requirements related to employer health care coverage.” AHIP represents health insurance companies. It has also been a consistent critic of PPACA.
Zirkelbach noted that the decision was based on a reaction to proposed rules dealing with implementation provided by commenters such as AHIP. Zirkelbach said AHIP told the administration that the new law imposes “significant new requirements” on health insurers and employers starting in 2014 including health coverage benchmarks for actuarial value (for individual and small group insurance) and minimum value (for self-funded group health plans and insurance provided to large group health plans) and informational reporting with respect to health coverage.
“It is critical to implement these provisions in a manner that minimizes the burdens on insurers, employers, and individuals and to provide a simplified process for reporting that avoids duplication of effort,” AHIP told the Treasury, Zirkelbach said in noting that it was these type of comments that likely led to the administration’s decision.
3. American Benefits Council
James A. Klein, president of the American Benefits Council, said the delay “provides vital breathing room to implement the law in a more thoughtful and administrable way.” The American Benefits Council lobbies for, and advises large companies on, all federal and state employee benefit issues.
Klein said that major employers have led the way in providing coverage to their workers and are expending great resources to ensure compliance with the new law.
“This relief will minimize disruption for employers and their workers,” Klein said. He added that the ABC “has been working closely with the Obama Administration for over three years to mitigate wherever possible the cost and burdens of implementing the ACA. We will continue to do so in the months ahead.”