Kansas State University


Issues in Health Reform

Delinking health insurance from the workplace

I’ve been speaking to one main advantage of Obamacare being the lifting of job lock, where folks get to choose to work where they want and not be afraid of being cut off from health insurance. Thomas Friedman’s opinion in the New York Times adds a particular urgency to this issue…that new jobs being creating are going to be less and less those that will come with insurance as a fringe benefit, so that the new economy dictates the need for delinking insurance from the workplace or at the least, having affordable options for workers and their families.

Job lock is lifted because now no one can be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, there is place to purchase health insurance that offers large group level premiums similar to those in workplace (that’s what the Exchanges are about), and where feds operate similarly to employers by helping folks pay for those plans.  With the feds, they help those with less than 400% of the federal poverty line pay for insurance by way of the tax credits.  Employers usually paid a portion of the premium as well but rarely based on salary level of employee.

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