SPBA Joins 50-Plus Organizations to Provide U.S. Senate with Input on Health Care Reform

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Collaborating in a joint effort among 55 organizations throughout the country, the Society of Professional Benefit Administrators (SPBA) has shared feedback with the U.S. Senate on matters related to health care reform. The group focused their communication on the drawbacks added taxes would have on employer-sponsored health plans and suggests provisions to improve access and affordability for employees and businesses alike.

Society of Professional Benefit Administrators
To see employer-sponsored health benefits get taxed or otherwise eroded would push our country in the wrong direction in terms of affordable health care.

As part of an effort coordinated by more than 50 wide-ranging industry organizations across the nation, the Society of Professional Benefit Administrators (SPBA) has provided input to the U.S. Senate on health care reform.

The group has shared a letter with Sens. Mitch McConnell (R - KY), Charles E. Schumer (D - NY) and all other Senate members. This correspondence provides legislators with rationale for avoiding any actions that could destabilize the employer-sponsored health care system, and emphasizes eliminating the “Cadillac Tax,” avoiding the implementation of any new taxes on employer-sponsored health coverage and discarding employer mandate penalties.

“Employers are the largest source of health benefits throughout the United States as they provide upwards of 177 million Americans with coverage,” explained Anne Lennan, SPBA president. “This collective effort has been organized to give employers a voice behind the need to avoid any taxes that will further raise the costs of member health coverage and corresponding care.”

SPBA and the participating organizations have taken this action as the Senate is in the process of drafting legislation to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The group has also asked the Senate to consider repealing other ACA taxes that have led to price increases, including those on fully-insured health plans, brand-name pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Among other points addressed in the letter to the Senators, several relate to the structure of health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending arrangements (FSAs). They include:

  • Linking the annual HSA contribution limit to the out-of-pocket maximum limit
  • Establishing a grace period between the HSA-qualified plan enrollment and establishment of an HSA
  • Eliminating the cap on FSAs

“A huge cross-section of American workers and their families currently rely on employer-sponsored health benefits,” Lennan said. “To see these benefits get taxed or have them otherwise eroded would push our country in the wrong direction in terms of affordable health care.”

Among the organizations involved are the American Benefits Council, Corporate Health Care Coalition, Small Business Council of America, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For a full list of the 55 participants, read the letter here.

SPBA is the national association of Third Party Administration (TPA) firms that manage client employee benefit plans. It is estimated that over 70% of U.S. workers and their dependents in non-federal health coverage are in plans administered by TPAs. The clients of TPA firms include every size and format of employment, including large and small employers, state/county/city plans, union, non-union, collectively bargained multiemployer plans, as well as most industries and professions.

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Dave Willems
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Fred Hunt
Society of Professional Benefit Administrators
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