As fall approaches, we can expect to hear more about how employers are adapting their health plans for 2016 open enrollments. One topic likely to garner a good deal of attention is how the Affordable Care Act’s high-cost plan tax (HCPT), sometimes called the “Cadillac plan” tax, is affecting employer decisions about their health benefits. The tax takes effect in 2018.
Sign-up season for President Barack Obama’s health care law doesn’t start for another couple of months, but the next few days are crucial for hundreds of thousands of customers at risk of losing financial aid when they renew coverage for 2016.
President Obama’s health-care reform hasn’t meant less time on the job for American workers, according to three newly published studies that challenge one of the main arguments raised by critics of the Affordable Care Act.
Covered California announced its rates for 2016 and unveiled which health insurance companies will be offering plans through the marketplace. The statewide weighted average increase will be 4 percent, which is lower than last year’s increase of 4.2 percent and represents a dramatic change from the trends that individuals faced in the years before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Covered California is set to release its 2016 rates at the end of July, and open enrollment for 2016 coverage is scheduled to begin Nov. 1. In the meantime, special enrollment for those who experience a change in life circumstances, such as moving or having a baby, continues year-round.
Instead of picking a companywide health plan, employers are increasingly giving workers financial support to choose their own from a menu of options. For 2015, 6 million workers selected coverage from markets run by private benefits administrators, according to a study from Accenture.
Covered California, state revenue agencies and tax preparers reminded uninsured consumers Tuesday that they still have time to sign up for health coverage to minimize tax penalties for tax year 2015.
The advice came as Californians continue to file their 2014 taxes in advance of the April 15 filing deadline, with some tax filers learning they are paying a penalty because they lacked health insurance in 2014.
This tax season, for the first time since the health law passed five years ago, consumers are facing its financial consequences. Whether they owe a penalty for not having health insurance or have to reconcile how much they got in premium tax credits against their incomes, many people have to contend with new tax forms and calculations.
Covered California is offering a special enrollment opportunity for consumers who did not know or understand there was a tax penalty for being uninsured in 2014 or who learned they may face a penalty for 2015.
Despite the concerns surrounding the mandate, it won’t hit all businesses hard, nor will it provide coverage to all uninsured workers. Instead, just like the rest of Obamacare, its impacts will be felt unevenly, among some industries and employees more than others.
A new study, released today as a Web First by Health Affairs, examines data from the Health Reform Monitoring Survey for June 2013 through September 2014, assessing any early changes of employer-sponsored insurance under the ACA. [It] reports that the percentage of workers with employer offers for health insurance was basically unchanged between June 2013 and September 2014: 82.7 percent versus 82.2 percent.
Companies with fewer than 50 workers provide medical coverage to roughly 20 million people. Unlike larger employers, they have no obligation under the health law to offer a plan. Now they often have good reason not to.
Owners don’t have to pay premiums, meaning they can give workers raises, invest in equipment or add to profits instead. And employee take-home pay can rise if subsidies — available even to families with middle-class incomes — are worth more than what a company was contributing