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National Restaurant Association - NRA urges House to repeal auto enroll mandate

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NRA urges House to repeal auto enroll mandate

The National Restaurant Association joined nearly 100 other groups and businesses this week in asking the House to pass the Auto Enroll Repeal Act, which would free business owners of the requirement to automatically enroll full-time employees in health care coverage by the 91st day of employment unless the employee opts out of coverage prior to the deadline.

The auto-enroll rule has not yet gone into effect, and the Department of Labor said last year that employers will not be required to comply until regulations are released.

The rule would require employers that employ more than 200 full-time employees to enroll full-time employees in a company-sponsored health plan -- unless that employee has specifically opted out of enrollment.

On May 9, the NRA and a broad business coalition sent a letter to Reps. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) in support of H.R. 1254, the Auto Enroll Repeal Act of 2013, Hudson and Pittenger are co-sponsors of the bill.

 “We are concerned that automatic enrollment may create additional confusion for our employees in an already complex benefit area, and could result in unnecessary hardship if they find themselves automatically enrolled in a plan in which they do not wish to participate,” the coalition wrote in the letter. “In addition, the automatic enrollment requirement is redundant, expensive and unnecessarily burdensome for employers without increasing employees’ access to coverage.”

The NRA has actively opposed the auto enroll provision, noting that the uniqueness of the restaurant industry’s workforce makes the provision particularly challenging for owners to implement.

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