Rep. Schneider Introduces Legislation to Help Consumers Make Informed Health Care Choices

May 17, 2017
Press Release
Requiring notification of special enrollment periods will help employees save on health insurance and avoid penalty fees during job transitions

Today, Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) announced the introduction of a bill to improve the process of obtaining health care insurance coverage during job transitions, making a stressful and confusing time easier to navigate and saving individuals money.

The Common Sense Employer Notification of Special Enrollment (SENSE) Act would require employers to inform employees leaving a job that they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to acquire marketplace insurance coverage. Under current law, employers are only required to inform separating employees of COBRA eligibility, which in many cases is more expensive than an individual plan purchased through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

“I’ve always said that instead of considering an irresponsible, ill-conceived repeal plan, Congress should be working together to improve our health care system – building on the successes of the Affordable Care Act and fixing what isn’t working,” said Schneider. “The Common SENSE Act is a small but important step that would help employees leaving a job to save money while also strengthening marketplace exchanges by increasing participation. I am ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find similar solutions that move our health care system forward.”

The bill also requires employers to notify Medicare-eligible employees leaving a job that they qualify for a special enrollment period for Medicare. Failing to enroll during this SEP can result in costly lifetime penalties for the beneficiary. Transitioning out of a job is a stressful process and this simple notification requirement is a common-sense step that will save seniors from costly and unnecessary late enrollment fees.

The full text of H.R. 2342, the Common SENSE Act is available online.