Employment-Based Health Coverage and Health Reform: Selected Legal Considerations [June 12, 2009]   [open pdf - 208KB]

"It has been estimated that nearly 170 million individuals, or approximately 64% of the nonelderly population, have employer-based health coverage in the United States. While under federal law, employers are not required to provide coverage to employees, many do so voluntarily. Employment-based insurance has several strengths, including risk pools that are not formed on the basis of health status, ease of acquisition by workers, and tax subsidies that exceed those for individual market insurance. In addition, employers may have greater negotiating power with an insurance company than does an individual consumer. On the other hand, plans chosen by employers may not meet individual workers' needs, and changing jobs may require obtaining both new insurance and new doctors. Nevertheless, given that employers are a large source of financing for health coverage in the United States, whether employment-based insurance should be strengthened, weakened, or kept the same is likely to be evaluated by Congress. If Congress chooses to amend the employer-based system as part of a federal health reform effort, it is possible that two primary federal laws governing employer-based coverage, Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code, may be the vehicle for making changes. This report provides an analysis of selected legal considerations in amending these two federal laws."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40635
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/
Media Type:
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