H.R. 2004 would prohibit plans that offer insurance through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) or the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) from cancelling policies as a result of nonpayment during a government shutdown.
Under current law, individuals bear the full cost of premiums for dental, vision, and long term care coverage through payroll deductions; none of the costs are borne by the federal government. Therefore, although the premiums paid to insurers through federal payroll deduction would not occur during a government shutdown, enacting H.R. 2004 would not affect the federal budget.
H.R. 2004 would impose a private-sector mandate as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by requiring insurance plans that offer coverage under FEDVIP and FLTCIP to continue covering federal employees during a shutdown. Although providers participate in FEDVIP and FLTCIP voluntarily, the bill would apply the duty to continue coverage to contracts that are already in effect, and affected entities would have to comply with the duty.
H.R. 2004 would establish a process for the affected insurers to receive unpaid premiums at the conclusion of the shutdown. Because CBO expects any shutdown would be of limited duration, CBO estimates the cost of the mandate—delayed premium payments and administrative expenses related to that delay—would fall well below the private-sector threshold established in UMRA ($164 million in 2019, adjusted annually for inflation).
H.R. 2004 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in UMRA.