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.