Retailers Endorse Repeal of Auto Enrollment Mandate

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)  endorsed legislation introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) that repeals the automatic enrollment provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill, the Auto Enroll Repeal Act, S. 2546, reduces the complex administrative challenges imposed on retailers under the health law. 

"RILA appreciates Senator Isakson's leadership in repealing this provision under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) which forces employers to automatically enroll an employee into a health plan that he or she may not want or need,"said Christine Pollack, vice president of government affairs at RILA.

In a letter to Senator Isakson yesterday afternoon, RILA states that under the automatic enrollment provision, employers with workforces of 200 or more must automatically enroll employees in health coverage plans if one is not voluntarily chosen or coverage is not declined by an employee. Automatic enrollment may cause substantial confusion for employees who may already be eligible for coverage under a spouse's plan, a parent's plan or a government plan.

"The auto-enrollment mandate, which forces businesses to enroll employees in a health plan even if they already have coverage, is just one more example of the 'Washington-knows-best' mentality that has made this law such a disaster," Senator Isakson said. "Repealing this unworkable mandate is an important step toward starting over with real health reforms that put patients first."

Additionally, automatic enrollment would cause significant administrative burdens to businesses in the retail industry due to the high turnover rates of their workforces.

"The automatic enrollment provision is duplicative of the law's individual and employer mandates. As retailers work to comply with the law it is important that Congress make commonsense adjustments and repeal provisions such as auto enroll which will be too administratively burdensome and complex for retailers to comply with and for the federal government to implement," Pollack continued.

RILA also endorsed the Auto Enroll Repeal Act, H.R. 1254, introduced in the House of Representatives last year by Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08) and Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09). In February, 2012, the Labor Department acknowledged employer concerns about the complexities associated with implementing this provision (Notice 2012-17). The Labor Department has not yet issued regulations for this requirement.


RILA, the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, promotes consumer choice and economic freedom through public policy and industry operational excellence.  Our members provide millions of jobs and operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.  RILA members offer quality and affordable health care to their employees and dependents, and are leaders in benefits design by customizing plans to meet their workforces' specific needs.


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