Businesses back bill to nix O-Care's auto-enroll feature

Major businesses want to overturn an ObamaCare provision that requires large employers to enroll workers automatically into a health insurance program if they don’t sign up on their own.

Businesses including 7-Eleven, Lowe’s, Petco Animal Supplies and White Castle wrote to Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) on Tuesday supporting his bill to overturn the mandate they call too much of an administrative burden.

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“We are concerned that automatic enrollment may create additional confusion for our employees in an already complex benefit area, and could result in unnecessary hardship if they find themselves automatically enrolled in a plan in which they do not wish to participate,” the companies said. “In addition, the automatic enrollment requirement is redundant, expensive and unnecessarily burdensome for employers without increasing employees’ access to coverage.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses with 200 or more employees are required to enroll workers into a healthcare plan automatically starting next year if they don’t sign up for one on their own after 90 days of employment and fail to decline insurance.

"Retailers are working to comply with the [ACA] and it is important that Congress make commonsense adjustments and repeal provisions such as auto enroll in order to ease the law's administrative burdens the law puts on America's job creators," said Christine Pollack, vice president for government affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

RILA says the provision would be an “administrative nightmare” and could force workers into healthcare plans that “does not fit their specific health needs,” or isn’t accepted by their doctors.

The letter to Isakson was signed by RILA, the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Employers for Flexibility in Health Care (E-FLEX) Coalition.