HR Policy Presses HHS to Review ACA Rules to Reduce Unnecessary Costs, Reinforce ERISA Preemption, Increase Transparency

July 14, 2017

This week, HR Policy urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider reforms to a number of Affordable Care Act regulations to reduce unnecessary and costly burdens on employer-provided health benefits.  Most importantly, the comment letter strongly recommends: "HHS and CMS should not adopt or amplify the ACA's indifferent approach to ERISA preemption in the interest of state flexibility and innovation.  Health care reform should clearly and explicitly prohibit regulatory, reporting, and administrative burdens on ERISA plans, including those burdens related to State taxes and fees."  In addition, the letter asks HHS to work with the Labor and Treasury Departments to make a number of regulatory changes, including:

  • Increasing transparency by making Medicare claims data available in a public use data set;
  • Reducing reporting burdens wherever possible;
  • Reversing the unwarranted "embedded" individual out-of-pocket limit in employer-provided family health care plans; and 
  • Limiting the ACA's open-ended preventive services mandate that provides little or no implementation guidance to employers and reduces consumerism.
The letter goes on to say that as "health care reform moves forward, federal policies should leverage and encourage the innovation of employer-sponsored health care benefits and support the flexibility necessary to enable employers to continue to make these innovations.  Such policies will be critical for making the Nation's workforce healthier and more productive."