January 1, 2014, the full impact of the ACA takes effect. However, one major requirement has been deferred. Employers with 50 or more full time equivalent employees (Large Employer) were initially required, by January 1, 2014, to provide affordable minimum value health insurance coverage to all employees working 30 or more hours per week. A (Large Employer) would have been subject to financial penalties if the employer did not provide affordable minimum value health insurance. This requirement’s effective date is now January 1, 2015. Employers with less than 50 full time equivalent employees (Small Employer) are not required to provide health insurance for their employees under the new law.
Currently, employers of any size are not required to have health insurance coverage. However, collective bargaining contracts have secured health insurance benefits for employees, especially in the public sector. Another reason many employers provide health insurance benefits is to recruit and retain good employees. They also know that a significant number of employees/dependents would have a difficult time getting coverage on their own because of pre-existing conditions. The new law has removed any pre-existing limitations and requires insurance companies to provide guaranteed issued health insurance Because of this new health insurance mandate, an individual can’t be denied coverage. Therefore, to save money, there is a possibility that (Small Employers) may drop health insurance coverage knowing that their employees can purchase a health insurance policy on their own without any restrictions.
Starting October 1, 2013, individuals will be able to purchase health insurance coverage on the Insurance Marketplace (Exchange). They would also be eligible for a premium subsidy from the government if their income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. If an individual’s income is below 100% of the federal poverty level, they would qualify for Medicaid.
Individual’s covered under a group health insurance plan that is not certified to be of minimum value can enroll in a health insurance plan on the (Exchange) and may be eligible for a premium subsidy. In addition, if an individual is paying more than 9.5% of his/her income toward the premium of their employer’s health insurance plan, they can enroll on the (Exchange) and may be eligible for a premium subsidy.
Please call the LAW, Inc. office if you have any questions on the Affordable Care Act.