Posts Tagged ‘group coverage’

What Does New Healthcare Bill Mean for Employers? Less Then You Might Think It Does

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Beyond personal or political preferences, what does health care reform mean for employers?  Not much for those with less than 50 employees and maybe even lower costs overall for employers with more than 50 employees.

  • Employer Responsibilities - The legislation would require an employer with more than 50 full-time employees to pay $2,000 per employee if the employer fails to offer health coverage and has at least one full-time employee receiving a premium assistance tax credit or cost-sharing reduction created by the legislation. The first 30 employees of the employer would be excluded from the calculation of the penalty.
  • Dependent Coverage - The legislation would also require health plans that provide dependent coverage to provide it up to age 26. This provision would apply to existing health plans in addition to new plans beginning six months after enactment. For coverage of these non-dependent children prior to 2014, the requirement on group health plans is limited to those adult children without an employer offer of coverage.
  • Breaks for Breastfeeding - The legislation would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to require that employers provide unpaid breaks for employees to express breast milk. The legislation would also require that employers provide a private location for employees to have these breaks.
  • Tax on “Cadillac” Plans - Beginning in 2018, there would be an excise tax on any “excess benefit” of employer-sponsored coverage. The legislation defines “excess benefit” as one that exceeds $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. The thresholds would be indexed to inflation.
  • Automatic Enrollment - The legislation would require that employers with more than 200 employees automatically enroll full-time employees in health coverage. The legislation would allow employees to opt-out of the coverage after automatic enrollment.
  • Lower Costs - Congressional Budget Office estimated that the legislation would have a relatively small effect on premiums for employer-based healthcare insurance.  For employers with more than 50 employees, premiums could be as much as 3 percent lower under the legislation than they would be under current law in 2016, according to the CBO’s projections.

Several other provisions would affect employers as well, including the creation of state-based exchanges for purchasing health plans and incentives for small employers to offer healthcare coverage.

Join the conversation: what effect will healthcare reform have on your business?