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Employment Blog

What Keeps Me up at Night About the Affordable Care Act?

Authored by Mary Ellen Schill
Posted on February 3, 2015
Filed under Employment

Expert? Guru? While I’d like to think that I merit those descriptions when it relates to the Affordable Care Act, I know for a fact that there is a lot about the ACA that, as they say, “keeps me up at night.” The practice of law is just that, practice, and practicing in the area of employee benefits after the passage of the ACA brings back Section 89 memories. For those of you who were blissfully unaware (or unalive) back in the mid to late 1980’s, there was one pre-ACA attempt to make employer-sponsored group health plans (and other welfare benefit plans) look more like qualified retirement plans as far as complexity and regulation. Section 89 of the tax code was enacted back in 1986, and it rivaled the ACA as far as its impact on group health plans. It imposed nondiscrimination and coverage requirements, and enhanced disclosure obligations. For benefits attorneys, it was non-stop seminars and presentations and CLIENTS WHO PROCRASTINATED! Then it was repealed before it ever became effective in 1989. And those who procrastinated slept better at night I’m sure.

The ACA is different of course. It has survived court challenges and legislative action. It is well over half way to full implementation. And there still is lots to learn and master. My recent Guest Column in the Eau Claire Business Leader [link] brings you into my world of ACA and counting sheep.