American Health Policy Institute
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HR Policy Urges Congress to Strengthen ERISA Preemption

HR Policy urged Congress to uphold and strengthen the essential role the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plays for multi-state employers who want to provide uniform health benefits to their employees.

The joint business community letter lets Congress know employers are concerned about states’ efforts to erode ERISA and “we are equally troubled by the prospect of any federal legislation which would…permit state legislation to apply to self-insured employer plans.”

Concern increases as PBM legislation moves through Congress. Just ahead of the May Senate HELP Committee markup of several health care bills, Sen. Sanders (I-VT) expressed interest in inserting language into one of the bills that would allow any state law regarding PBMs to be excluded from ERISA’s preemption provision.

The letter highlights the benefits of ERISA to employers including:

  • Driving innovation in benefit and plan design, value-based payment reform, provider transparency initiatives, and disease management programs;

  • Promoting health benefit equity across an employer’s workforce; and

  • Reducing health care costs.

The letter calls on Congress to “look beyond short-sighted actions, oppose any federal efforts that erode ERISA preemption, and support opportunities that will strengthening preemption to ensure the foundation of American health coverage is strong for the next fifty years and beyond.”

Published on:

Authors: D. Mark Wilson

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