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Freddie Stubbs

(29,853 posts)
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 01:18 PM Jul 2013

Obamacare penalties spawn 'skinny' plans

Source: Politico

Employers heaved a sigh of relief when the Obama administration announced it would not enforce Obamacare’s mandate that large companies provide insurance to their workers next year.

But some companies plan to offer “skinny plans” designed to duck the biggest penalties anyway, according to industry consultants. And the Obama administration has extended its blessing to this limited coverage, even though it would not protect individuals from medical bills that could cause financial ruin in the case of severe injury or illness.

The health law spells out in detail the comprehensive coverage that insurers have to provide on the new insurance marketplaces or exchanges. But it’s nearly silent about what the employers who provide insurance to a majority of Americans need to include in their health plans.

“There are no rules on how good that coverage has to be,” said Gretchen Young, senior vice president of health policy at the ERISA Industry Committee.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/some-workplace-health-plans-will-be-skinny-94239.html?hp=r12

30 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Obamacare penalties spawn 'skinny' plans (Original Post) Freddie Stubbs Jul 2013 OP
Another shoe drops. GeorgeGist Jul 2013 #1
What could possibly go wrong? Hydra Jul 2013 #2
Big monied companies...hammer...chisel... SoapBox Jul 2013 #3
If it's in Politico it must be true, huh? tularetom Jul 2013 #4
Some employees don't want christx30 Jul 2013 #11
Unfortunately it is true... matthews Jul 2013 #15
Feds provide 'skinny' option to employees too. elleng Jul 2013 #5
Obama won't enforce the mandate on large companies. loudsue Jul 2013 #6
+1 n/t NealK Jul 2013 #18
Couldn't the employees EC Jul 2013 #7
Yes, and doing so will raise the rates of said company's skinny plan due to the shrinking pool. tridim Jul 2013 #8
I'm in the same boat as you... penultimate Jul 2013 #27
Obamacare is such a fraud. Only thing he cares about is protecting the 1%. forestpath Jul 2013 #9
No and No. tridim Jul 2013 #17
Most of us will be better off with it than without it penultimate Jul 2013 #30
Really? Laelth Jul 2013 #10
there are rules, but they have been waived (for one year) Doctor_J Jul 2013 #12
I was aware that the employer coverage requirement was waived for a year. Laelth Jul 2013 #14
What? progressoid Jul 2013 #13
ROFL! SoapBox Jul 2013 #16
This has been a trend for years anyway. Lasher Jul 2013 #19
Keep your employees on part time status so you don't have to pay the employer portion of payroll tax progree Jul 2013 #20
You're right, I don't know what the hell I was thinking. Lasher Jul 2013 #26
State minimume coverage. penndragon69 Jul 2013 #21
Health insurance =/= healthcare. ForgoTheConsequence Jul 2013 #22
There's plenty of posters on DU that "don't get it" either n/t Fumesucker Jul 2013 #25
I'm sorry we're not rich enough. Fearless Jul 2013 #23
Yes, the ACA that we got area51 Jul 2013 #24
leave it to ERISA Industry Committee to exploit any loopholes they can to screw workers. Sunlei Jul 2013 #28
If there was only a way people could of seen this coming... Safetykitten Jul 2013 #29


(23,664 posts)
4. If it's in Politico it must be true, huh?
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 01:27 PM
Jul 2013

I generally believe about 10% of what I see from that POS site.

But if this is true it just reinforces that the insurance companies are the turd in the punch bowl of the entire health care debate. The employers want to offer the cheapest insurance they can find and the insurers are eager to provide them with a crappy product.

I'm increasingly pessimistic that Obamacare will do much to improve health care for the majority of Americans. It'll still be prohibitively expensive and the insurance companies will still be in the drivers seat.


(6,241 posts)
11. Some employees don't want
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 01:56 PM
Jul 2013

to have to pay for insurance that they don't want. I don't need coverage for substance abuse (I don't drink or do drugs) or contraceptive care. I'm healty, so I would probably just go for a skinny plan, if that would free up money for my actual monthly expenses.
If I absolutely have to, under threat from the law, have to have some kind of plan, I'll get the absolute bare bones one that I can.



(497 posts)
15. Unfortunately it is true...
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:36 PM
Jul 2013

These plans are offered to people and they have high deductibles and very very little coverage. If you're lucky it's a $10,000.00/year maximum payout. And the people who are getting offered these plans are usually low wage and they can't afford the premiums anyway, so a lot of them can't take out the insurance. Truth be told, with all the exceptions and the low yearly maximum payout, one trip to the hospital can bankrupt you just as easily as no coverage at all. I've worked for a place that had one of those plans.

I also worked for a place that offered what is considered decent coverage (United Health Care) but I paid $350.00 a month for my son and I. Problem was with a $5,000 deductible, I was screwed anyway. And when they started cutting my hours, all I ended up working for was to pay for my insurance. One payday I had $147.00 left over for two weeks. But of course when it got to that point they were going take my insurance away anyway because I wasn't a full-timer anymore and didn't qualify for benefits.

They got you coming and going.


(14,087 posts)
6. Obama won't enforce the mandate on large companies.
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 01:30 PM
Jul 2013

More of that compassionate conservatism that bush was famous for.


(12,287 posts)
7. Couldn't the employees
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 01:31 PM
Jul 2013

shop the market instead then and get better policys? I can't understand employers that have the cash that don't offer benefits to their employees. Do they really hold such distain for them? I suspect it's apathy more than anything, we're all replaceable so it really doesn't matter to the employer rather we live or die.


(45,358 posts)
8. Yes, and doing so will raise the rates of said company's skinny plan due to the shrinking pool.
Reply to EC (Reply #7)
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 01:39 PM
Jul 2013

I don't take my company's crappy insurance. I pay less for an individual plan that is much better.

In general employers are CHEAP and they will do ANYTHING to save a buck.


(1,110 posts)
27. I'm in the same boat as you...
Wed Jul 17, 2013, 10:57 AM
Jul 2013

The company offered a really shitty plan that cost a ridiculous amount. So I just went with individual insurance that had way better coverage and cost about $50 less.


(1,110 posts)
30. Most of us will be better off with it than without it
Wed Jul 17, 2013, 11:17 AM
Jul 2013

Right now, many people do not have insurance through their company and they cannot afford decent individual plans. Even if the companies get off the hook for the next year, at least now individuals can get their health insurance purchases subsidized. So now those making only 8.50/hr would only have to pay like $50-60/mo for decent insurance that won't fuck them over due to preexisting conditions (or other shit) That same person would qualify for medicaid if they had children. Also, if a single person was making the federal minimum wage, they would qualify for medicaid even if they do not have kids.

Even though I won't qualify for any subsidies (at least not at this current moment, but what will happen in the future) and my premiums will be slightly higher (based on the calculators I've seen), the plans are slightly better than what I currently have AND there will be laws that prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions or raising rates past a certain level. Where as right this moment, if I was to get very sick, I'd be at the mercy of the insurance company. At least the health care laws make it so that no matter what, I should be able to afford insurance no matter what my health condition is (even if the premiums do go up a couple hundred dollars more, at least I'd have insurance and that's cheaper than paying $100,000 out of pocket)

Also, the more healthy people who buy insurance, the lower the premiums... At least in theory.

I mean, that's my understanding of how it's all supposed to work. If I'm wrong about anything, I'd like to hear about how and why.


(32,017 posts)
10. Really?
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 01:49 PM
Jul 2013

There are no rules on the insurance coverage that employers are required to provide? Really?

If so, that stinks!



(32,017 posts)
14. I was aware that the employer coverage requirement was waived for a year.
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:08 PM
Jul 2013

But the article above suggests that even when the requirement goes into effect in 2014 that there will be no rules on what kind of health care coverage employers must provide under the ACA.

I'd like to know whether that is true. As I said, if so, it stinks.



(27,689 posts)
19. This has been a trend for years anyway.
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 03:15 PM
Jul 2013

Keep your employees on part time status so you don't have to pay the employer portion of payroll taxes. It's handy to blame it on Obamacare, though.


(10,961 posts)
20. Keep your employees on part time status so you don't have to pay the employer portion of payroll tax
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 03:58 PM
Jul 2013

[font color = blue]"Keep your employees on part time status so you don't have to pay the employer portion of payroll taxes."[/font]

I thought they could evade providing health benefits by having part-time workers working less than 30 hours a week under the ACA. And before ACA (like now as far as benefits requirements) many companies simply have a policy that they don't give health benefits and some other benefits to part-time wokers -- companies aren't currently required to provide health care benefits (other than the Medicare part of the payroll tax) or most other benefits to anybody.

But as far as payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare) employers have to pay 7.65% of the worker's wages, regardless of whether the worker works 1 hour or 70 -- that's been true for many decades and nothing in the ACA changes it. Unless I missed something?



(788 posts)
21. State minimume coverage.
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 04:22 PM
Jul 2013

You won't even have to have it until you are on your way to
the doctor or hospital, just stop by the kiosk in the lobby, pay
$50 and print out proof of insurance.

So what if it covers NOTHING because all you need is a card
saying that you are insured.

Pass the buck onto someone else like usual.


(18,421 posts)
23. I'm sorry we're not rich enough.
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:10 PM
Jul 2013

Screw the employees.

Pretty soon we'll just have a generation of people who have to work two part time jobs and STILL have no health care.



(11,947 posts)
24. Yes, the ACA that we got
Wed Jul 17, 2013, 03:05 AM
Jul 2013

is based on the rightwing Heritage Foundation and a Newt Gingrich wet dream, which was to make a law forcing people to buy a lightly regulated, for-profit product from companies which are known serial killers.

Single-payer is key to keeping people alive, not to mention, affordable health care. The ACA is an unworkable solution. Punishing individuals who don't buy the insurance, without a public option, will still leave them w/o health care, which was supposed to be the whole reason behind hc reform.

And this shit will continue until people rise up and do something.

Anyone in their 20s or 30s who has marketable skills would be better off trying to move to a first world country with health care as a basic human right. And anyone who goes to Canada or Europe on a vacation, should apply for health care asylum there due to our broken health care delivery system. I'm not saying it would work to get to stay in those countries; I'm saying it needs to be done to embarrass the US on the world stage.


(22,651 posts)
28. leave it to ERISA Industry Committee to exploit any loopholes they can to screw workers.
Wed Jul 17, 2013, 11:01 AM
Jul 2013

It took several years to roll in big policy changes like SS, Medicare and Medicade.

Be the same with AHC, 'Obamacare'

The insurance industry will try to keep the profits and keep out the unprofitable Americans. Businesses will try to get away as cheap as possible.

Bet big business will still take out life insurance on their employees and profit from employee deaths.

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