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Tue Jan 1, 2013, 02:15 AM

Employers Must Offer Family Care, Affordable or Not

WASHINGTON — In a long-awaited interpretation of the new health care law, the Obama administration said Monday that employers must offer health insurance to employees and their children, but will not be subject to any penalties if family coverage is unaffordable to workers.

The requirement for employers to provide health benefits to employees is a cornerstone of the new law, but the new rules proposed by the Internal Revenue Service said that employers’ obligation was to provide affordable insurance to cover their full-time employees. The rules offer no guarantee of affordable insurance for a worker’s children or spouse. To avoid a possible tax penalty, the government said, employers with 50 or more full-time employees must offer affordable coverage to those employees. But, it said, the meaning of “affordable” depends entirely on the cost of individual coverage for the employee, what the worker would pay for “self-only coverage.”

The new rules, to be published in the Federal Register, create a strong incentive for employers to put money into insurance for their employees rather than dependents. It is unclear whether the spouse and children of an employee will be able to obtain federal subsidies to help them buy coverage — separate from the employee — through insurance exchanges being established in every state. The administration explicitly reserved judgment on that question, which could affect millions of people in families with low and moderate incomes.


Link.

The rules offer no guarantee of affordable insurance for a worker’s children or spouse. To avoid a possible tax penalty, the government said, employers with 50 or more full-time employees must offer affordable coverage to those employees. But, it said, the meaning of “affordable” depends entirely on the cost of individual coverage for the employee, what the worker would pay for “self-only coverage.”

A "poison pill," if you'll pardon the expression, written into the Affordable Care Act?

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Reply Employers Must Offer Family Care, Affordable or Not (Original post)
wpelb Jan 2013 OP
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #1
Igel Jan 2013 #2
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #3

Response to wpelb (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 02:55 AM

1. This makes the bill rather useless.

It's minimal coverage. Really. That's disgusting.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 02:44 PM

2. Think it through.

If they can't afford much, it means that their kids probably get Medicaid or some other government health insurance.

Odds are that they're going to be single.

And if they do work, both partners will independently get coverage.

Unless the employees are moved to part-time status, which is what's happening in some service-sector companies. Or work for one of the 1000+ companies allowed to have mini-med plans until 2014.

The absolute number of those affected by this is likely to be large. Once you factor in other ways of getting insurance, the number's probably going to drop. Precipitously.

I'll hold my outrage until I know what the actual effects are.

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Response to wpelb (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 09:34 PM

3. Affordable health insurance will probably be available through the state

through the SCHIP program like now or the higher limits for Medicaid. In any case, as a single person who never had children because I couldn't afford them, I've never understood why an employer should be obliged to pay for thousands of dollars worth of health insurance for an employee's family. If they are doing the same job as I am, they are being compensated more just for being married and/or having kids.

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