Supreme Court Ruling Creates Concerns, Opportunities for Credit Unions

The United States Supreme Court ruling largely upholding the Affordable Health Care Act sets the stage for the next battleground: the fall elections, which could determine how and if the law is implemented.

For credit unions, the ruling presents a need for a compliance review, according to Brad Pricer, human resources process leader at CUNA Mutual Group. In a YouTube video posted within a few hours of the ruling, Pricer noted, “A lot of credit unions—not just credit unions, but employers in general—were waiting for this decision to see what it was they would have to do, waiting to see what compliance steps they would have to take.”

Pricer points out that some provisions of the act went into effect, so he recommends reviewing compliance steps taken in 2010 and last year.

“If they have been waiting to see if this gets thrown out, now is the time to work with your brokers and consultants to take stock of what you have done, or what it is you might need to be doing going forward,” Pricer said.

In addition to reviewing compliance concerns, the ruling may present some opportunities for credit unions.

“Government exchanges will provide a very limited set of plans that employers can purchase or open up to their employees to pick and choose from,” Pricer said. “The private exchanges that are coming in place, whether it be through health insurers or through consultants or through association plans, are going to be much richer. There are going to be many more choices for employees or employers to buy into and have their employees select from.”

The Supreme Court ruled that Congress has Constitutional powers to tax Americans who ignore the act’s mandate to carry health insurance by 2014. Currently, 1.5 million Oregonians and Washingtonians are without health insurance.

While the reform package allows employers with small staffs to take advantage of public health insurance programs, it will penalize businesses with more than 50 employees if they don’t offer health insurance.

Anthem will continue to provide updates on the impact the ruling could have on credit unions.

 

Questions or Concerns? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Compliance, Events.