Casey to Administration: Provide PA Businesses with Detailed Information on Affordable Care Act

Senator Asks Treasury and HHS Officials to Travel to PA to Explain Benefits, Answer Questions Directly

Companies Across PA Are Looking for More Specific Detailed Guidance

Washington DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services to work with Pennsylvania employers in preparation for the Affordable Care Act’s implementation in 2014. In his letter to the departments, Senator Casey requested that special consideration be given to mid-size employers who could potentially be subject to the employer shared responsibility requirements.

“The health care law has the potential to help Pennsylvania small businesses bring health care costs under control,” said Senator Casey. “However, I am hearing from businesses across the state about the lack of information on how these provisions will affect them.  I am asking the Administration to send representatives to Pennsylvania to meet directly with these businesses to help them plan.”

The most significant reforms in the Affordable Care Act are slated to take effect in 2014. The Department of the Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services have conducted outreach to small businesses and very large employers operating in multiple states, and are beginning to conduct outreach to other employers. However, many mid-sized businesses would benefit from specific information regarding their unique requirements. 

Below is the full text of Senator Casey’s letter:

The Honorable Jack Lew
Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dear Secretary Lew and Secretary Sebelius:

I write today to request an update on the steps your Departments are taking to educate employers about the Affordable Care Act, and specifically about the employer shared responsibility provisions.

In recent months, I have heard from a number of employers in Pennsylvania who are looking for more detailed and understandable information on how these provisions will be implemented, so that they can make the appropriate decisions for 2014.  While I commend the work that your agencies have undertaken to date, much of the information provided thus far is technical and difficult for employers and individuals who are not tax professionals to understand.

While it is important to address the questions of all types of employers, I believe special attention should be provided to mid-size employers who are large enough to potentially be subject to the employer shared responsibility requirements.  I understand that the federal agencies working to implement the Affordable Care Act have conducted outreach to small businesses and very large employers operating in multiple states, and are beginning to conduct outreach to other employers.  I urge you to consider tailoring these efforts to reach these mid-size employers who may be struggling to figure out what their obligations to their employees are under the Affordable Care Act. 

I believe that we are at a critical point in the implementation of some of the most significant reforms slated to take effect in 2014.  Keeping open communication between relevant federal agencies and employers is essential to ensuring a smooth road to 2014.  With that in mind, I respectfully request that the appropriate representatives from your Departments make arrangements to travel to Pennsylvania in the next two months, to meet directly with interested employers and address some of the questions that have been posed by the businesses in my state. 

I would also request that you provide an update of the work your agencies are doing to conduct outreach to employers of all sizes, and to make easy-to-understand information available online.  Finally, I would ask that you keep my staff informed of opportunities for Pennsylvania employers to engage with your Departments through webinars, phone conferences and other means, so that they can help reach out to employers who have contacted my office.

If I or my staff can be of further assistance, please contact my office.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

 

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