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The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group, A Professional Corporation, is a nationally recognized ERISA & employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor & human resources practice. 


Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group has 22 attorneys engaged exclusively in employee benefits, estate planning and employment law. Six of our attorneys are AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell as having very high to preeminent legal abilities and ethical standards. The firm is among the largest ERISA boutiques in the country. Our practice is national in scope, with clients in more than 40 states and several foreign countries.





Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence



Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110

Palm Beach Gardens 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418



Tel: (813) 603-2959

Fax: (813) 603-2961

101 East Kennedy Boulevard

Suite 2140
Tampa, FL  33602 


San Francisco

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

315 Montgomery Street

Suite 904

San Francisco, CA 94104


St. Louis

Tel: (314) 236-0065

Fax: (314) 236-5743
100 South 4th Street, Suite 550
St. Louis, MO  63102 







November 13, 2015


 Health and Welfare Law Alert




  Recently-Enacted Legislation Repeals ACA's Automatic Enrollment Requirement




President Obama has recently signed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 which, among other things, repealed the automatic enrollment provision provided in the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing the ACA's automatic enrollment provision will result in an additional $8 billion in revenue due to fewer people enrolling in employers' group health plans, which will reduce employers' costs and thereby increase employers' taxable income.


Background. Under the ACA, employers that offer health insurance and that employ more than 200 full-time employees were to be required to automatically enroll new, full-time employees in one of the employer's group health plans, subject to any waiting periods. ACA further required employers to notify employees that they could opt out of the employer's group health plans.


The U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") announced in 2010 that it interpreted the ACA's automatic enrollment provision as not taking effect until it issued implementing regulations and that it did not expect to do this until 2014. In 2012, DOL announced that it would not issue implementing regulations for the automatic enrollment provision by 2014, given the need to coordinate its implementation with other ACA provisions, including the employer mandate and the prohibition on waiting periods exceeding 90 days. DOL confirmed that employers did not need to comply with the automatic enrollment provision until it issued the implementing regulations. Now, under the new Bipartisan Budget Act, employers no longer need to worry about those provisions.


Takeaway for Employers. Although the ACA's automatic enrollment requirement has been repealed, employers may continue to use default or negative elections to enroll employees in group health plan coverage, if they choose to do so. (Note: Under a default or negative enrollment arrangement, an otherwise eligible employee will be deemed to have elected a stated type and level of coverage unless the employee submits a written waiver of that coverage.) The IRS permitted this practice in a 2002 revenue ruling, and affirmed the approach in 2007 under its proposed regulations for Section 125.


Similar to the now-repealed ACA requirement, employers that have default or negative elections must notify employees about the coverage, including the cost for coverage, and allow employees to opt out. Employers should consider this practice carefully and consult with qualified benefits advisors before implementing such arrangements.







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This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.