Once the Affordable Care Act was passed, employers began reviewing their options about providing health insurance coverage to employees. One option continually referenced in the news was how employers were considering reducing employee hours to avoid providing health insurance coverage. One employer is now the subject of a class action law suit that claims the employer violated ERISA when it reduced employee hours to avoid providing health insurance coverage. Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., S.D.N.Y. No. 1:15-cv-036081.
On June 25th the Supreme Court ruled that premium tax credits provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to help individuals of low or moderate income to buy health insurance either on state- or federally-managed marketplaces are lawful. This means that people in all states, including the 34 states with federally-facilitated marketplaces, will continue to have access to the tax credits. Because of the Court's 6 to 3 ruling in King v. Burwell, ACA will remain unchanged, and individuals, employers, and health insurers must continue to comply with the law's individual and employer coverage mandates.
Previously the IRS announced that employer payment plans would violate the Affordable Care Act and subject an employer to penalties. An employer payment plan is a plan under which an employer reimburses an employee for all or part of the premium for an individual health insurance policy. The penalty for this arrangement is $100 per participant/per day.
Many employers are implementing wellness programs associated with providing employees health insurance. The EEOC is concerned about wellness programs and has filed at least two complaints this year alleging that an employer's wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
As discussed in an earlier blog post, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ACA") created a controversy about whether for-profit corporations have religious freedom. The issue concerns the requirement under ACA that health insurance sufficient to avoid penalties must include coverage for certain forms of birth control. Businesses closely held by families with strong religious convictions are objecting to this requirement as an infringement of religious freedom.