Lines Drawn as Individual Mandate Heads To High Court
Robert Christenson, chair of the Employee Benefits Practice Group, was quoted in the March 1 Workforce Management article "Lines Drawn as Individual Mandate Heads To High Court." The article reported that the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule by June on whether the individual mandate of President Barack Obama's health care reform law is constitutional. If the court strikes down the individual mandate, the premiums charged for coverage by health benefit exchanges could rise significantly and employee health insurance will become more expensive for many employers. Bob said: "This could have a significant and adverse impact on employer health costs, since many employers are considering using the exchanges to provide future health coverage for their employees rather than continue to sponsor group health plans." Opponents of the law argue for free-market reforms, saying the entire law has to be overturned and replaced with something that is constitutional and also reduces costs. Bob added, "They're hedging their bets in case something happens. They're saying that if the individual mandate is stricken, you can still have reform in this format."