Prior to this year my employer used to reduce our hourly rate if we elected to enroll in one of the employer sponsored medical plans available. This reduction in rate was in addition to any weekly fees required to pay for the medical coverage. It was claimed that the extra deduction was required to cover administration costs.
I found out this week that new employees or employees who hadn't elected to receive coverage previously and who are signing up for coverage in the current enrollment period no longer have to face a deduction in their hourly rate.
When I asked our HR department about this they stated that the PPACA contains a provision that prevents employers from doing this anymore. To quote they said "Due to the federal requirements pertaining to insurance and what employers are allowed to offer and negotiate, wage rates are no longer impacted by changes to insurance".
This makes sense to me in that the PPACA might want to prevent employers from reducing insurance costs by reducing wages. However, I then asked if employees who had coverage from previous years and were going through the enrollment process now would get back the rate reduction taken previously.
My employer said no, referring to the aforementioned quote, and re-iterated that they are no longer allowed to make wage changes (positive or negative) based upon medical coverage choices.
This simply can't be true can it? I can understand the PPACA wanting to prevent employers from reducing wages but I can't believe it would prevent employers from increasing wages. I believe that my company is conveniently using this as an excuse to avoid having to give back the rate deduction to all of the employees it previously took it from but I can't find any references to this part of the law that I can take to my company's HR department to argue with.
If anybody can provide any assistance on this issue, I would be most grateful.