Glitch in health care law allows employers to offer substandard insurance
A flaw in the federal calculator for certifying that insurance meets the health-care law’s toughest standard is leading dozens of large employers to offer plans that lack basic benefits, such as hospitalization coverage, according to brokers and consultants.I'm of two minds. First, there shouldn't be a law like Obamacare that mandates the coverage of people by companies. However, they've now had over 4 years to get the law and it's implementation right, and frankly, they just don't care that much. Throw the bums out.
The calculator appears to allow companies enrolling workers for 2015 to offer inexpensive, substandard medical insurance while avoiding the Affordable Care Act’s penalties, consumer advocates said.
Insurance pros are also surprised such plans are permitted.
Employer insurance without hospital coverage “flies in the face of Obamacare,” said Liz Smith, president of employee benefits for Assurance, an Illinois-based insurance brokerage.
At the same time, a kind of Catch-22 bars workers at these companies from subsidies to buy more comprehensive coverage on their own through online marketplaces. No federal tax credits for health coverage are available to people with workplace plans approved by the calculator.
And speaking of getting it right after 6 years, ny way of Wombat-socho's "Live and Five: 09.15.14" HURDLES FOR OBAMA HEALTH LAW IN 2ND SIGN-UP SEASON
Don't expect a repeat of last year's website meltdown, but the new sign-up period could expose underlying problems with the law itself that are less easily fixed than a computer system.Well, yes it was. Maybe you should have read the damn thing. What he really wanted was permanent subsidies, aka socialized medicine, regardless of income: Throw the bums out!
Getting those who signed up this year enrolled again for 2015 won't be as easy as it might seem. And the law's interaction between insurance and taxes looks like a sure-fire formula for confusion. For example:
- For the roughly 8 million people who signed up this year, the administration has set up automatic renewal. But consumers who go that route may regret it. They risk sticker shock by missing out on lower-premium options. And they could get stuck with an outdated and possibly incorrect government subsidy. Automatic renewal should be a last resort, consumer advocates say.
-An additional 5 million people or so will be signing up for the first time on HealthCare.gov and state exchange websites. But the Nov. 15-Feb. 15 open enrollment season will be half as long the 2013-2014 sign-up period, and it overlaps with the holiday season.
-Tens of millions of people who remained uninsured this year face tax penalties for the first time, unless they can secure an exemption.
- Of those enrolled this year, the overwhelming majority received tax credits to help pay their premiums. Because those subsidies are tied to income, those 6.7 million consumers will have to file new forms with their 2014 tax returns to prove they got the right amount. Too much subsidy and their tax refunds will be reduced. Too little, and the government owes them.
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Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., said in an interview that he disagrees with making people pay back part of their premium subsidy. That would happen if someone made more money during the year and failed to report it to HealthCare.gov.
"Why should individuals be punished if they got a bump in salary?" said Pascrell. "To me, this was not the ACA I voted on."