The National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA) welcomes the news that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision requiring employers to provide health insurance for workers or pay a penalty will be delayed for one year, but continues to have grave concerns over the full effects of the ACA on employers.
"This is a positive move that gives business owners some temporary measure of regulatory relief,” NECA CEO John M. Grau. "Construction employers frequently cite the uncertainty about the ACA as a reason they hesitate to further expand their company operations or increase hiring."
As currently written, the ACA fails to recognize and respect employers and workers who participate in multiemployer health care plans, like NECA contractors and their labor partners in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
NECA's concerns about the ACA center on the uncertainty over how multiemployer healthcare plans and the individuals (administrative staff) healthcare plans are governed. "We believe it will be impossible to reverse the damage to our plans if the ACA is implemented as proposed, and we hope the Administration takes this opportunity to address our concerns before the Act is implemented," said Marco Giamberardino, NECA executive director, government affairs.
Since World War II, NECA contractors have been providing quality healthcare coverage to 26 million electrical workers, retirees and their families.
Today, over 4,500 electrical contractors continue to do so through the national NECA-IBEW Family Medical Care Plan and more than 150 local healthcare plans.
Multiemployer healthcare plans have not been part of the contentious debate over the ACA; rather, their concerns have been drowned out by more vocal opponents. Giamberardino added, "As the ACA is currently written, our small business owners and job creators will be penalized for doing the right thing. These plans should be commended and preserved, not forced into dissolution. It's the wrong medicine for our workers and their families currently receiving excellent healthcare benefits."
To speak with a NECA expert on the Affordable Care Act and multiemployer heathcare, contact Beth Margulies, NECA Director, Communication, 301-215-4526 office, 240-461-4769 mobile, firstname.lastname@example.org.