Individual Mandate Stands; Medicaid Expansion Narrowed: What This Means for Employers
Judy Rooks, Marketing Communications Mgr., (503) 294-9831
This morning, the United States Supreme Court upheld the majority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA"), including the individual mandate. While political pundits debate the constitutional and political consequences, employers need to know what this means for them.
"Our advice for employers is stay-the-course," said Stoel Rives Employee Benefits attorney Melanie Curtice. "Under the Court's ruling, all current and prospective PPACA requirements for employers and individuals remain valid law. That means employers should continue to comply with all of the health care requirements currently in effect and continue preparing to comply with upcoming requirements in 2013, including distribution of Summaries of Benefits and Coverage, W-2 reporting, and the $2,500 limit on health flexible spending accounts."
The Court also held that Congress may not require states to significantly expand their Medicaid programs. However, at this time, the ruling on this issue should not directly affect PPACA requirements applicable to employers and individuals.
While it is unclear how Congress will respond to this decision, a formal congressional response is not expected prior to the November 2012 elections. Stoel Rives Employee Benefit and Health Care lawyers will continue to monitor the rollout of the legislation and its impact on employers.