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Large employers should stay focused on health care rules

Q&A with Brandon Long

published in The Oklahoman | March 20, 2015

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case challenging whether the Internal Revenue Service can provide tax credits to Americans who purchase health care coverage through a federal exchange.

Employee benefits attorney Brandon Long, who is a frequent author and speaker on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), was interviewed by The Oklahoman about the case and its implications for both individuals and employers, particularly in states that did not establish their own exchanges.

“In King v. Burwell, the challengers basically claim that in states like Oklahoma, where the federal government operates the exchange, individuals aren’t eligible for tax credit subsidies for health coverage bought on such an exchange,” said Long. “If the challenge is successful, millions of people will not be able to buy subsidized coverage. And large employers in many states, including Oklahoma, would effectively be exempt from the so-called employer mandate.”

While Long said it’s not clear what the high court will do, it seems unlikely to him that they will strike down the entire ACA. Therefore, he recommends that large employers stay focused on their health care reform compliance efforts, which include working to identify their full-time employees as defined by the ACA and continuing to develop strategies to offer those employees health coverage.

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