What is in this article?:
- More Work Ahead on Health Care
- Retailer Concerns
"NGA will redouble its efforts to minimize the impact and burdens on independent retail grocers.”
— Peter Larkin, president and CEO, NGA
The sweeping law will require all Americans to have insurance or else pay a penalty, and will mandate and place new parameters on the coverage of workers by their employers, effective at the start of 2014.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act brought some degree of closure for retailers and their workers, but at the same time left room for a range of outcomes that the industry will seek to shape.
National retail associations — including Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association — last week said they would continue to try to influence through regulatory and legislative channels how the health care overhaul will impact their members’ businesses.
“With this decision, NGA will redouble its efforts to minimize the impact and burdens on independent retail grocers by continuing to work closely with fellow members of the Employers for Flexibility in Healthcare Coalition to educate the administration on the important need for maximum flexibility in regulatory requirements,” said Peter Larkin, president and chief executive officer, NGA.
He added that NGA “supports health care reform that increases competition in the marketplace and reduces costs on employers.”
The sweeping law will require all Americans to have insurance or else pay a penalty, and it also will mandate and place new parameters on the coverage of workers by their employers, effective at the start of 2014.
Among the areas of concern for retailers is how the law will define full-time employees for the purpose of determining eligibility for coverage. FMI has argued that employers should be able to “look back” at a full year of an employee’s hours to account for seasonality and fluctuations, rather than a shorter time period. The association also said it supports a change in the definition of “full-time” to mean 35 hours per week, vs. 30.
In addition, the regulatory authorities will need to set the parameters that define the coverage that retailers provide, including the “affordability” of the plans and “minimum value” of the coverage. The law requires that an employee’s contribution to a plan’s premium should not exceed 9.5% of their household income, and FMI is seeking to have that measured against the employee’s current wages instead. In addition, FMI said the scope of the plans should be limited to coverage of 60% of the estimated costs of the benefits, rather than dictate what specific benefits are offered.