Press Release: U.S. Supreme Court’s Health Care Reform Opinion

For Immediate Release
June 28, 2012

Contact: M. Colette Nies, Managing Director, Communications
(847) 866-4296 or cnies@gbophb.org

Glenview, IL—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in the cases challenging the national health care reform legislation (the Affordable Care Act (ACA)), ruling the ACA’s minimum essential coverage provision—the individual mandate—to be constitutional.

The “individual mandate” requires every American (with few limited exceptions) to purchase and maintain health insurance coverage. The Court upheld the mandate as a tax, under the U.S. Congress’ very broad power to tax. This means that if an individual chooses not to purchase health insurance, he or she will simply pay a modest excise tax for going without insurance. The Court’s ruling also means that the provisions of the ACA that already have come into effect (for example, coverage of children up to age 26) will remain in place, and the changes due to take effect in 2014 will remain on track, including the individual mandate as well as federal government assistance for certain individuals to obtain coverage. The Court also ruled on the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid and the proposed funding for that expansion. While these are less directly applicable to the health coverage of most United Methodist participants, they are still being reviewed and studied.

HealthFlex Health Plan
In light of this ruling, GBPHB’s legal staff and the Center for Health will continue to review the ACA and the regulations and guidance issued under it in order to be prepared to implement all components of the ACA as they apply to the HealthFlex health plan. GBPHB will continue to provide information about the ACA to all annual conferences and the denomination, as regulations and guidance are published by federal regulators.

Please visit our website for information and updates on health care reform.

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About the General Board

The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits is a not-for-profit administrative agency of The United Methodist Church, responsible for the general supervision and administration of the retirement, health and welfare benefit plans, programs and funds for more than 91,000 clergy and lay employees of the Church. Under the Center for Health, the HealthFlex health plan covers 27,000 participants from nearly half the U.S. annual conferences.

The General Board is the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States and ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country. As a socially responsible investor, the General Board is actively involved in shareholder advocacy, proxy voting, portfolio screening and community investing.

 

 

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