The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Pub. L. No. 114-74, which was signed by President Obama on November 2, 2015, included a little‑publicized provision that repealed the Affordable Care Act’s automatic enrollment requirement.  The provision that was repealed had amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require certain large employers to “automatically enroll” new full–time employees in one of the employer’s health benefit plans (subject to any waiting period authorized by law).1  The law had not yet taken effect, however, because the Secretary of Labor had never promulgated the regulations required to implement the automatic enrollment requirement.2

In 2012, the Department of Labor issued guidance acknowledging the challenge of implementing the automatic enrollment requirement, stating that it was “aware of the need to coordinate the work it will be undertaking to develop guidance relating to automatic enrollment with the guidance being developed regarding other related Affordable Care Act provisions, including the employer shared responsibility provision and the 90-day limitation on waiting periods.”3 The requirement had also been criticized by trade associations and large employers as being ambiguous and duplicative of requirements imposed by the Affordable Care Act, specifically, the shared responsibility and individual mandates, and as potentially forcing employees into coverage that they may not want, as well as creating new administrative burdens.4