- Federal subsidies for all public exchanges means reporting requirements and excise tax remain center stage for employers
- Employers need to develop short- and long-term strategies and action plans
Today’s Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell, upholding premium subsidies for all public exchanges, removes the last major “unknown” for employers in developing their future benefit plans and strategies. A Mercer survey conducted earlier this year found that relatively few employers favored eliminating subsidies in states using the federal exchange (Fig. 1).
Mercer has been closely tracking and analyzing the implications of King v. Burwell to help clients navigate and comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related issues. Select Mercer consultants are also immediately available for press interviews.
“Employers no longer have any reason to put off key decisions and actions needed to comply with the ACA,” said Tracy Watts, Mercer’s national leader for health care reform. “With King v. Burwell finally in the rear view mirror, the most pressing issue is the shared-responsibility reporting requirements for 2016. Looking further ahead, employers can also consider strategies to take advantage of the public exchanges and premium subsidies that could prove a win-win solution to providing coverage to employees working less than 30 hours a week and to early retirees.”
Watts continued to say that while the ruling maintains the status quo for now, Congress and the President could agree to make targeted changes to the ACA this year, despite the looming 2016 elections. Employer-backed reforms with bipartisan support – including repeal or revision of the 40% excise tax on “high-cost” plans and eased reporting requirements – stand a chance of becoming law as part of a bigger legislative package.
To schedule an interview with a Mercer consultant about the impact of the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision on employer-sponsored health plans, please contact Mercer’s Anna Gioni at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 212-345-7291. Mercer will also be hosting a related webcast on July 9 – please feel free to register here.
Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 57,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $13 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a leader in management consulting. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.
Figure 1: Employer opinions on making changes to elements of the ACA