Automatic enrollment in employer’s plan

I work for a big company, around 400 or 500 employees.  I’ve heard that at our next open enrollment, that we will all automatically be enrolled in the health plan.  It’s something about the Affordable Healthcare law, supposedly.  Can they force me to take their health plan and say it’s because of health reform?

Likes Having A Choice

Dear Likes Having A Choice,
No, an employer cannot force you to be covered by their health plan. They might be telling you that you will be “auto-enrolled”, which is required by the Affordable Care Act.  That is, employees have to do something to drop out rather than having to do something to join the plan.  Nevertheless, you have the right to refuse coverage. You may have to sign a form for the health insurer, so that the employer does not get “dinged” by the insurer for having employees uninsured. Employers’ contracts with the insurer generally require them to enroll all employees (if employees do not pay part of the cost), or some percentage of employees (if employees do pay part of the cost). Your dropping out skews their numbers.

Not to worry — you still have the choice to join or not join the plan.  The only change is in what the empoyer assumes you will be doing.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.