When Donald Trump ran for the Presidency in 2016, a major plank of his platform was the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, pretty much every Republican in 2016 ran on that promise.
In the summer of 2017, several Republican Senators and every Democrat Senator torpedoed that promise by not agreeing to a plan. Since then, this administration has made several attempts to sink the ACA where they could.
A recent article written by the Wall Street Journal outlines some startling financial data in regard to our domestic health insurers and their cryptic billing process established by CMS (Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services). Although GMS typically focuses on the private insurance markets—as they are the most relevant for businesses—examining the continued failures of CMS may provide some insight as to why our domestic healthcare system operates so poorly and why prices for both public and private health insurance markets are sky-rocketing.
In the past, business owners in Michigan had the option of whether they wanted to offer paid sick leave for their employees. However, Michigan adopted the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA) Sept. 5, 2018, making it the 11th state to have a mandatory paid sick leave law in effect. Within a few months, the state’s legislature amended the bill, adopting the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) as a modified version of the initial act that will go into effect starting March of 2019.
With all the changes in Michigan’s paid sick leave laws, it’s time for business owners in the state to take stock of exactly what the PMLA requires of them, if they should reevaluate their paid leave policies, and what they need to do to be compliant with the new law.
Following a 19.1 percent-32 percent hike in 2018, 2019 Obamacare rates are expected to rise by double digit percentage points, again. Though speculation by market experts have resulted in a slew of responses as to why premiums have continued to rise, 2019’s increase is one of the most cut and dry responses by insurers to current reform changes. Within this article, we’ll explore the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, which happens to be one of the pillars the ACA was built on: the individual mandate.
When your employees are ailing, your business is also likely to suffer. The health and wellbeing of your employees can play a big part in your company’s success, as a happy, healthy workforce has several benefits, including:
- Increased productivity
- Reduced absenteeism
- Decreased medical costs
Many small business owners have turned to workplace wellness programs to help improve the wellbeing of their employees. Over time, these programs have evolved to address specific issues to better serve employers and their employees. Here are some recent wellness trends than may be a good fit for your business.
When small business owners decide to offer health insurance to their employees, they don’t have to find a plan by themselves. The process can be very complicated for people without an intimate knowledge of how health insurance works, so owners typically turn to brokers or PEOs to guide them through the process. While both PEOs and brokers have the same general goal—to find you quality, affordable health insurance for your business—they work in different ways.
With the soaring costs of healthcare in the U.S., many citizens feel they are left with little to no alternatives when it comes to significant surgeries and procedures. This has helped propel many to look into the latest trend of “medical tourism” in an effort to get the operations they need without breaking the bank.
Citizens may be uneasy about the idea of receiving care outside of the United States, but there are some great facilities and specialists in other countries where the same level of treatment—or even better in some cases—can be received at a fraction of the price. That was the case for GMS employee Christine Mace when her husband Dan required hip surgery back in 2016.
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.
Health insurance comes with many responsibilities for small business owners. Regardless of whether you’re trying to cut health insurance costs or reward specific employees, you may wonder exactly how those responsibilities affect who you offer health insurance coverage. Can you pick and choose who can be a part of your health plan, or are there federal regulations involved? As you may expect, there are some rules you need to follow.
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.