The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires applicable large employers (ALEs) to offer affordable, minimum value health coverage to their full-time employees in order to avoid possible penalties. Because this employer mandate has been criticized as burdensome for employers and an impediment to business growth, it seems likely that its repeal will be part of any Republican plan.
If the employer mandate is repealed, many ALEs will likely want to modify their plan designs to go back to pre-ACA eligibility rules (for example, requiring employees to have a 40-hour a week schedule to be eligible for benefits). Employers may also consider increasing the amount that employees are required to contribute for group health plan coverage.
When making plan design changes, employers should review their compliance obligations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the ACA mandates that may remain intact.
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