Support of Division M of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Actby Senator Christopher A. Coons
Posted on 2014-12-12
COONS. Madam President, As Senator Carper noted, the Expatriate
Health Coverage Clarification Act should not reduce the Affordable Care
Act's health insurance coverage protections based on U.S. workers'
immigration status, including those employed with nonimmigrant work
visas. We intend that the definition of ``qualified expatriate'' be
closely adhered to in the implementation of this legislation by the
administration, the health insurance companies that seek to offer
expatriate health plans, and the employers who utilize these plans on
behalf of their workers who are transferred or assigned both within or
outside the United States.
It is my expectation that expatriate health plan enrollment should remain relatively constant, accounting for the normal ebbs and flows of the demand of and supply for expatriate workers. The provisions of this bill apply to the two Federal laws that it seeks to modify--the Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. It is not Congress's intent to affect other Federal law. As Senator Carper stated, the legislation would not change existing immigration law or regulations--including those that [[Page S6772]] govern benefit equivalency between nonimmigrant visa holders and their U.S. counterparts. It is also not Congress's intent to impact or diminish in any way an employee's rights under title VII of the Civil Rights Act or any other antidiscrimination protections or to preempt any relevant State law governing employees' rights.
The Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act is a bipartisan, technical clarification of health insurance law, intended to place U.S. expatriate health insurers on equal footing with their foreign counterparts. We look forward to the passage of this bill and are grateful for the bipartisan coalition that has worked so constructively to find a path forward on this issue.