Health Reform WK-EDGE Employers want Congress to preserve coverage for preexisting conditions
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Employers want Congress to preserve coverage for preexisting conditions

Lauren Bikoff, MLS

Preexisting conditions protection remains a hot topic, and most employers are in agreement.

The vast majority (95 percent) of employers believe that it is important for Congress to preserve coverage for preexisting conditions should the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) be overturned, according to recent research from Mercer. The 10 Minute Survey on Health Reform, which included responses from nearly 600 employers, noted that this issue has moved into the spotlight again following the Department of Justice’s legal filing urging the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals uphold a lower court ruling that strikes down the ACA in its entirety.

Mercer found that while employer health plan sponsors could voluntarily choose to continue covering preexisting conditions without limitations, they clearly support Congressional action to maintain the mandate that bans such exclusions. In addition to believing, along with the majority of Americans, that protecting individuals with preexisting conditions is the right thing to do, making it a universal requirement takes coverage availability off the table when people are making decisions to leave or stay in a job or look for a new one.

According to the survey, employers feel less strongly about shoring up other aspects of the ACA, which may have less relevance to their own populations. Fewer than half believe that it’s important for Congress to expand subsidies for individual policies bought on public exchanges (45 percent) or to provide additional funding for exchange enrollment outreach (30 percent). A third (33 percent) say that it’s important to halt regulations that expand short-term, limited duration insurance policies that don’t comply with all ACA requirements.

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