First posted on Cracking Health Costs 9/13/2013
This is the title of a WSJ op-ed.
ERISA has provided a haven for employers to avoid costly state insurance laws and taxes. If employers lose the ERISA preemption it could increase the costs of their health plans by around 5-14% depending on which states laws govern. One of the reasons for the ERISA preemption in the first place was to encourage employers to sponsor health plans and for their employees.
According to the oped the ERISA preemption is under assault by politicians who want employers to be forced to buy insured plans, thereby propping up ACA.
“…the White House, liberal pressure groups and state and federal regulators are trying to close what they call the self-insurance ‘loophole’ before more escape (into self-insurance status). Their political and actuarial fear is that if enough businesses don’t join, the exchanges could fail because too few younger and healthier people will subsidize everybody else.”
If more and more employers move to self-insurance, “…the…Center for American Progress warns that ‘the result of this shift could cause an insurance premium death spiral (in exchanges).’ “
This is scary. Inasmuch as one of the biggest risks US companies face is runaway health care costs, erasing ERISA would be destructive.