On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which among other things, repealed the ACA’s auto-enrollment provision.
The automatic enrollment provision of the ACA required an employer with 200 or more employees to automatically enroll new full-time employees in one of the employer’s health benefits plans (subject to any waiting period authorized by law) and to continue the enrollment of current employees in a health benefits plan offered through the employer. In December 2010, the effective date of this provision was delayed indefinitely until further regulations were issued by the Department of Labor.
Though regulations were supposed to be issued in 2014, they never were, and we heard little about this provision until it snuck its way into the Budget Bill where it was repealed. This provision was a fairly innocuous provision to repeal, as its elimination does not affect other aspects of the ACA.
Though Federal Law will no longer require certain employers to automatically enroll employees in a health plan, it appears some carrier are not letting go of this requirement so easily. In an attempt to boost enrollment in some cases, certain carriers are requiring auto-enrollment before allowing their products to be offered. The moral of this story is, as always, to ensure you pay close attention to your carrier’s rules before engaging them!