HR Policy Urges DOL to Review ACA Rules to Reduce Unnecessary Costs

May 12, 2017

HR Policy urged Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to carefully review all DOL-related Affordable Care Act regulations and guidance to reduce unnecessary and costly burdens on employer-provided health benefits.  The letter recommends: "[A]s 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 large employers to continue to make these innovations.  Such policies will be critical for making the nation's workforce healthier and more productive."  Among other things, the letter asks Secretary Acosta to work with HHS, Treasury, and EEOC to:

  • Protect the crucial ERISA preemption as state flexibility increases;
  • Increase the transparency of underlying financial transactions and contractual commitments in services provided by health care vendors; and
  • Eliminate the limitations placed on use of HSAs, FSAs and HRAs, while clarifying that "stand-alone" HRAs do not violate the ACA's annual limit restrictions.
Although the Trump administration can use its authority under the ACA and Executive Orders 13765 and 13771 to reduce unnecessary and costly burdens on employer-provided health care benefits, given the number of DOL leadership positions that need to be filled, it will be some time before employers see such regulatory relief.