Solving the Affordable Care Act Puzzle
Four and one-half years after its passage, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obama Care as some prefer, still raises a lot of questions from employers. We in the staffing industry have had our own unique questions and WFA Staffing has managed to solve that puzzle for itself and for its client companies.
The basics are these:
- Businesses of 100 or more active full-time equivalent employees must be insuring their employees by this coming January 1st.
- Businesses of 50-99 full time equivalent employees have until January 1, 2016 to be in compliance.
- Businesses of less than 50 full time equivalent employees are not required to provide insurance for their workers.
Employers who have variable hour employees have the most difficult time in determining which is a full time equivalent. Those with this issue are well-advised to contact a qualified health insurance broker for help in making that determination.
Pricing of health plans has so far been reasonably stable. It is feared that with the ACA law dropping some of the protections for insurance companies as of January 1, 2017 this could cause a spike of significance in premium rates. Those protections were written into the law to keep insurers from being hit with large losses given the elimination of health questionnaires and given the fact that all comers had to be provided with insurance. The artificial stop loss and reinsurance protections go away at the end of 2016.
Knowledgeable sources have projected that this change in the law will account for as much as a 96% increase in single rates and 46% for family rates in 2017.
There is much remaining to be seen so far as the ACA is concerned but for now at least health insurance protection is available to anyone regardless of past or current health and at what pass for reasonable prices.
Todd Strehlow- CFO