Today we know more than we once did about certain aspects of the law, its provisions and applications.¹And yet there is much yet to know about its broader implementation: How the insurance exchanges might work,² for example, or how their presence might affect or influence cost, access, or employer plan designs. Will employers step away from their traditional role in providing these benefits, or will these changes lead to an environment in which employers find them to be of even greater value to their retention programs and strategies? In addition, an overarching concern at present—not just for health benefits, but workplace benefits overall—is the potential impact that changes in tax policy³ could have on these programs, both direct and indirect.
Our next policy forum will bring together a wide range of national experts on U.S. healthcare policy to share a post-election perspective on fiscal impacts from the federal budget, findings from the EBRI Center for Research on Health Benefits Innovation, and a sense of how employment-based health benefits might evolve as a result of the changes set to come.
In a field as complex and sensitive as healthcare policy, we may not always know “what’s next”—but it’s our hope that the information, and interaction, at the EBRI policy forum will provide insights and clarity that can help.
EBRI’s 71st biannual Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 1330 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. The agenda and registration information are available online here. For those not able to attend in person, a free live webcast of the policy forum will be provided by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, online here.
Nevin E. Adams, JD
¹ A summary of EBRI Research on PPACA and its Potential Impact on Private-Sector Health Benefits is available online here. Of specific topical interest are:
- “Employment-Based Health Benefits: Trends in Access and Coverage, 1997–2010.”
- “Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 2012 Current Population Survey.”
- “Employment-Based Retiree Health Benefits: Trends in Access and Coverage, 1997-2010.”
- “Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements: Assets, Account Balances, and Rollovers, 2006–2011.”
³ See “Employment-Based Health Benefits and Taxation: Implications of Efforts to Reduce the Deficit and National Debt,” online here.