Breaking news these past few days has been the delay til Jan 2015 in the requirement (and concomitant penalty tax) that large employers (over 50 FTEs) have to offer adequate and affordable insurance to their employees. I’ve read several takes on this. Most are political though they do include some truisms. This one from Nancy Benac of Associated Press has the basics right…though I’d start from her last paragraph that explains what’s still left.
The Baltimore Sun ran an editorial that focused on the political fallout being worse than the reality. I think that is likely to be true.
That editorial highlights that only 5% of businesses are over 50 FTEs (most American businesses are apparently relatively small enterprises), and of those over 50 FTE already almost 95% of those offer insurance (and are likely to continue to do so since it is the way to recruit and retain the best and the brightest). I am not sure if all of those plans would meet the affordable (less than 9.5% of the worker’s income toward premiums for a single plan) nor the adequacy provisions (no more than 40% of the total expected costs of health care out of pocket are to be paid by the worker in a given year). So, there may be some trickiness here.
As for Extension, I believe that we still need to prepare folks to be ready for Jan 1 start date for the marketplace, and perhaps to remind folks of all of the other consumer protections already built into health insurance that they can feel more secure about…and that if they aren’t offered health insurance at work, they will now be mandated to purchase it, and that the Marketplace with options is the place to go to find those plans.