NEWS RELEASE

January 7, 2015
NR 2015-1

For additional information:
Jason Hammersla
office 202-289-6700 / cell 202-422-4652

Changing 'full-time work' definition under PPACA just one needed improvement

Additional specific relief needed for employer responsibility standards

WASHINGTON, DC — In a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, the American Benefits Council today urged passage of the Save American Workers Act of 2015 (H.R. 30) as part of a broader effort to make the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) less burdensome for employer sponsors of health coverage.

H.R. 30, which would change the definition of "full-time" work under PPACA from 30 to 40 hours per week, is expected to be voted on by the House on January 8. "Because final regulations implementing the employer mandate include many complex standards for determining whether an individual is a 'full-time employee,' passage of H.R. 30 is one helpful step Congress can take to alleviate employer concerns," Klein said.

"Many employers are concerned that, despite best efforts to comply with the law, they could be subject to penalties given the complexity of administering coverage to comply with the law - particularly with respect to employees who work a variable schedule, short-term employees, temporary, seasonal or similar contingent workers," Klein said.

The letter also recommends additional modifications to the employer shared responsibility provisions to minimize administrative burdens on employers that might create disincentives for employing "full-time employees" as defined by the law. Specifically, the Council noted that under PPACA regulations employers must offer coverage to 95 percent of full-time employees, although for 2015 the requirement is 70 percent. "Given the enormous complexity of the rules, policymakers should extend the 70 percent standard beyond 2015, and/or implement a glide path that gradually phases the percentage from 70 to 95 over several years," Klein said.

For more information on health care policy matters, or to arrange an interview with Klein or Katy Spangler, senior vice president, health policy, please contact Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications, at jhammersla@abcstaff.org or by phone at 202-289-6700 (office) or (202) 422-4652 (mobile).

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.