Health Care Reform Advisory: Assessing the Impact of Federal Health Care Reform on Employers and Group Health Plans

As a consequence of recent votes taken in the U.S. Senate, and barring some major unforeseen event(s), federal health care reform appears all but inevitable. While the final contours of the new law are not yet settled, certain broad themes are emerging. These include an individual mandate, major insurance reforms, a national or various state-level health insurance clearinghouses or "exchanges," and—of particular interest to employers—a mandate requiring employers to provide health coverage to employees or pay some sanction, fine or fee to the government.1

The current bills that remain to be melded into final legislation are the House version, the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), and the Senate proposal, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590). Both are comprehensive, lengthy, and detailed, and each would make major changes to the financing of health care and the structure of health care insurance in the United States.

This client advisory focuses on the likely impact of federal health care reform on employers. It explains the key features of both bills; assesses the likely impact on employers (cost and administrative complexity); and speculates on what the final legislation may look like. For employers domiciled or with operations in Massachusetts, some of what is described here will be familiar. For others, the Massachusetts experience with the employer mandate adopted in 2006 furnishes clues about the problems and issues that may arise in implementing the final version of the national legislation.

Please see full advisory below for more information.

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Mintz Levin - Health Law & Policy Matters on:

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