I doubt I’m going out on a limb by saying that the “kid in the candy store” perspective that insurance companies may have had about the Affordable Care Act has all but vanished. A new Standard & Poor’s report released this week supports that the “candy store” notion is now no more than illusion and provides further indications that ObamaCare is sputtering and may well be reaching a Tipping Point.
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- Tom Barrett
- December 18, 2015
- ACA, affordable care act, costs, coverage, employees, employers, exchange, health plans, healthcare reform, Narrow Networks, Obamacare, trends
- 0 Comments
I’m doing a series on things I think you should know about Obamacare. Here is installment #3…
There’s a major glitch or loophole in the healthcare law that actually allows large employers to avoid health-law penalties by offering stripped down plans that are devoid of any hospital benefits. That’s right. No hospital benefits at all. Obamacare regulators created an online calculator to certify whether plans offered by large self-insured employers that pay their own medical claims meet the Affordable Care Act’s toughest standard. The Obamacare calculator is used to test “minimum value” for adequate benefits. Many, including your 2-Minute Drill author, were surprised to read in a recent Kaiser Health News story that the calculator approves these plans lacking any hospital benefits.
Word is that numerous large, low-wage employers with high turnover that haven’t offered medical coverage in the past — retailers, hoteliers, restaurants and other businesses with high worker turnover and lower pay — are considering driving a truck through this loophole by offering plans without any hospitalization coverage. By doing so, they thus protect themselves from some of the employer mandate penalties that come into play next year. Some of the talking heads in the industry claim the calculator was purposely designed this way by the administration. However, I tend to agree with respected consultant Bob Laszewski. He’s quoted as saying “That’s baloney. Nobody said we’re going to have health plans out there that don’t cover hospitalization. That was never the intention…I think they just screwed up.” Stay tuned for more on this.
Obamacare…Did you know? #1
Obamacare…Did you know? #2
Seems like everyone wants to know what’s on the minds of employers and what they are thinking about insurance. A new survey conducted by Wells Fargo Insurance interviewed 70 employers across the U.S. Results show that as employers and their employees face higher costs, deductibles and copays the employers are searching for ways to control costs and help employees improve their health.
The survey findings also show the top three employer product innovations this year include:
- Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s)
- increased wellness programs
- narrow provider network offerings
47% of survey respondents say they will develop their own private proprietary exchange by 2015.
Read the full article at Wall Street Journal online, Survey: Cost of Healthcare Claims Continue to Rise; Interest in Private Exchanges Increases
Are you an employer? What are you thinking about insurance?