Compliance Review of Healthcare Benefits in Order Following Supreme Court Decision

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Act sets the stage for the next battleground: the fall elections, which could determine whether the act is amended, repealed or completely rolled out as planned by 2018.

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 Thursday’s 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.”

CUNA Mutual has posted an online toolkit with a compliance checklist and timeline detailing the implementation of the act. While some provisions of the Act went into effect two years ago, the timeline continues through 2018. The mandate requires individuals to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty—the major focus of the Supreme Court challenge—takes effect in 2014. Currently, 1.5 million Washington and Oregon residents are without health insurance benefits.

A briefing prepared by Brown and Brown Insurance reminds credit union leadership to monitor this still-fluid situation. The brief notes that some “members of Congress have already introduced new legislation to amend or repeal various parts of the health care reform law, and likely will continue with this strategy.”

While the next steps for the act move from the Supreme Court to the political arena, CUNA Mutual’s Pricer recommends reviewing compliance steps taken since 2010.

“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 noted.

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.”

 

Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465, compliance@nwcua.org.

Posted in Compliance.