As we brace ourselves for undeniable regulatory changes within the healthcare industry, often we neglect conversation about the shortcomings of our current system to ensure we don’t repeat the same mistakes. Although many would agree that the intentions of the ACA (“Expand access to health insurance, protect patients against arbitrary actions by insurance companies, and reduce costs”) were created with social good in mind, experts are strident that the mechanisms used to create this social good have failed to correct the economic epidemic that currently infects our healthcare system.
If you think “economic epidemic” is a hyperbolic term to use in this context, think again. As referenced in my previous blog post about the continuing battle to repeal the ACA, the U.S. domestic healthcare system costs around $3.3 trillion to the American economy each year. What’s less known is that this figure is projected to continue rising as it has almost every year since the 1960s.
Even if you only follow on the fringes of healthcare reform, the inception of the ACA in 2010 may have shed light on the lack of bipartisan effort surrounding reform policies. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you sit, the ACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is widely regarded as the most impactful healthcare policy since the rollout of Medicare & Medicaid by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. Irrespective of the clout this policy holds in the eyes of leaders within our domestic healthcare system, it has not operated within its short eight-year tenure without controversy.
The debate surrounding the longevity of this policy continued last Thursday (June 7, 2018) in unprecedented manner as the Justice Department filed a briefing recommending that the U.S. District Court of Texas (Fort Worth Division) rule the insurance reform provisions of the ACA unconstitutional.
Small business owners weigh many factors when deciding whether to invest in a group health insurance plan, but oftentimes the decision comes down to dollars and cents. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2016 Employer Health Benefits Survey notes that the high costs of insurance premiums are the primary reason why firms won’t offer health benefits. Even for business owners who do offer plans, rising insurance premiums can create a lot of stress and confusion, especially if the owner doesn’t know how these premiums are calculated and how they can manage them.
Employers can have many questions for group health providers, and that includes exactly how much they can expect to spend. Here’s a rundown on what the insurance industry uses to calculate your group health insurance coverage premium, as well as some strategies that can lead to lower costs.
It’s always a good idea to get more information. For a small business owner, that extra information can be the difference between finding the right group health coverage for your business.
Even if you have a good grasp on the basics of group health insurance, it doesn’t hurt to ask a provider a few important questions before you purchase a plan for your business. Here are some key things that you should ask a provider about group health insurance coverage.
Managing health insurance for a business can get complex in a hurry, especially if you’ve never dealt with group plans before. When it comes to offering healthcare coverage, you’ll quickly find that not all health insurance plans work the same way.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to step back, take a breath, and start with the basics. Let’s go over what you should know about group health insurance before you start offering plans to your employees.
Towards the end of July, the Republican Party made a couple of attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. When the Senate couldn’t pull together a consensus on a replacement bill, they moved forward with a straight repeal bill. Both attempts failed.
Where does that leave a business owner who’s trying to figure what to do about healthcare? Two recent articles help shed a little light on what to expect.
When the Affordable Care Act passed in late 2010, one of the major tenets of the plan was the creation of healthcare exchanges in every state. These exchanges would be state-run with federal seed money used to create them. People who didn’t have coverage or had unaffordable coverage through their employers would be able to buy subsidized plans at a comparatively low cost.
The exchanges began with the implementation of the ACA in 2014. Of the 50 states, 23 of them were run by the federal government. In late 2015, it was reported that 12 of the 23 federally-run state exchanges were shutting down due to unsustainable losses. In some areas, things have gotten worse.
As a business owner, you get to make the rules in your own company. However, there are still plenty of regulations and laws that can impact your business.
It can be difficult for owners to keep track of every single rule and avoid non-compliance costs when they’re busy, well, running a business. That’s why it can pay to invest in human resource outsourcing through a Professional Employer Organization. A PEO can help your business stay in line with complicated regulations to help you keep your HR functions in order. Here are areas where a PEO can help save you some money.
As a sales rep for a Professional Employer Organization, I have spent the last four years talking with business owners who were worried about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their businesses and employees. In many cases, I helped them find a cost-effective solution that helped them gain control of one of their most uncontrollable costs. Sometimes, I didn’t. Sometimes, the uncertainty of the previous two election cycles caused them to freeze up, maintain their status quo and hope for the best.
Now, we are about to embark on the Donald Trump era. For many, this is a sign that the ACA is going away and they can go back to things as they were. Perhaps so, but were things all that great before?
The reality is that it’s impossible to predict with any certainty what will happen in the next 12 months, let alone the next two years. A recent article on Smart Business’ website does have some thoughts on it that I would like to share and expand on.
In addition to an upcoming national election, we are now quickly approaching open enrollment season for the Affordable Care Act. This is the time of year when people can apply for healthcare coverage through the exchanges and look for income-based subsidies to help them offset some of their insurance costs.
It’s also the time when employees who don’t feel they have an adequate or affordable employer-sponsored health plan may seek out coverage and subsidies through the exchanges. While an employer may be tempted to find relief in one less person to cover (and pay for), there may be some repercussions.