Employee Benefits Legislative Trends for 2019

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the future of healthcare will remain a story to watch into 2019. And, in addition to staying apprised of what’s going on at the federal level, HR professionals will need to keep an eye on benefits legislation at the state level. Because states continue to have a lot to say about the insurance marketplaces as well as what goes on in the workplace.

What might lie ahead for employers? Attorney Marilyn Monahan suggested key areas to watch during a recent “2019 Employee Benefits Legislative Update” webinar (download the slide deck).

Federal

  • Changing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through legislation and regulations—mostly on the regulatory front.
  • There’s been discussion about expanding Marketplace coverage for employers and individuals—and plenty of debate about whether that’s a good or bad thing for the insurance market and consumers.
  • Health care generated a lot of talk on the campaign trail—how will that translate when Congress starts work in January?

State and Municipal

  • States and cities are active!
  • State laws may be more stringent than federal requirements.
  • Also watch for developments at the municipal level (for example, minimum wage and paid leave).

State legislatures and local governments are taking action to respond to things happening at the federal level, as well as taking on new and different issues that are of interest to them but that haven’t necessarily caught the attention of the federal government.

Always pay attention to what the states and cities are doing

The general rule of thumb is: if there is a law passed by a state legislature or municipal body that is more favorable to employees, that is likely the standard you need to reach.

Employee Benefit Plan Limits for 2019

The IRS periodically adjusts employee benefits for inflation.