An Opin­ion is some­thing that can be cit­ed to see how the gov­ern­men­tal body (in this case, the Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­ni­ty Com­mis­sion) feels about an issue – at least you get a sense of direc­tion.  Here, the EEOC said, on Jan­u­ary 7, that where an employ­er-paid a flat amount or a per­cent­age of pre­mi­um toward indi­vid­ual health plans pur­chased under the aegis of an ICHRA, it would not vio­late the dis­crim­i­na­tion rules set up under the ADEA:

  • Flat amount is fine because it is the same for every­one, and not con­tin­gent on the age of the employ­ee (even though an indi­vid­ual plan is more expen­sive for old­er appli­cants), espe­cial­ly since enroll­ment through an ICHRA is vol­un­tary on the part of the employee.
  • Per­cent­age of pre­mi­um is fine so long as the per­cent­age is the same for every­one, even though the actu­al dol­lar amount will end up different

Over­all – the con­tri­bu­tions are not a con­di­tion of employ­ment, but only an offer made at that time.  There­fore, the invol­un­tary nature of the par­tic­i­pa­tion ren­ders it out­side the scope of EEOC reg­u­la­tions per­tain­ing to age dis­crim­i­na­tion under the ADEA.