I have a friend who forwards me every Obama email that he gets. Usually they are interesting but often they are misinformation. I received an alarming one the other day about the progress of Obamacare and wondered if it could be true. I went to my Obamacare guru, Linda Walker, owner of PMRNC who closely follows what’s going on with this legislation. Linda offers a free newsletter and membership to her organization at Practice Managers Resource and Networking Community.
The article I sent Linda said that if you watch C-SPAN that the Senate Finance Committee had a hearing on the Affordable Health Care insurance oversight. It stated that tens of thousands of employers have thrown workers out of their health plan as the cost of the fine for not offering health insurance coverage is less than what the health care costs. Thousands more are cutting the hours of employees to less than 30 hour per week to comply with Obamacare rules.
It goes on to state that these workers are now rushing out to sign up for state health care exchanges and that websites are available to if your state has agreed to sign up for Obamacare. The article then says that these American workers are then finding out that they are not qualified because when the complete the financial data required they find that the costs will be as much as 30% more than it was costing under the employer’s plan.
Apparently this is all speculation. Here is how Linda responded:
“No, this is not true because there is NO sign up for Obamacare. That seems to be the biggest misconception floating around. Workers can’t be “signing” up for Obamacare for two reasons.
1) Obamacare is NOT a healthcare plan it’s the nickname of the ACA.
2) The state exchanges have not be setup and won’t be setup until October.
My own projection is that it will be delayed as many of the states are still nullifying which means that the Federal Govt will have to go in to those states and create the exchanges themselves. There is NO way to know premium rates now. The ONLY thing we know is that the ACA will require all insurers to spend 80% of the premium ON healthcare spending. “
In fact Vermont just released their exchange rates this week and they are the first state to do so.Her prediction on how the insurance carriers are likely to handle this is very interesting.
“Insurer’s are not worried about this limitation because they will sell policies with higher out of pocket expenses and that will justify their premium rates. So for example you might be able to get a family coverage plan for $5000 a year but you might have a $2000 deductible and 40% coinsurance.”
In fact Vermont was the first state to release their exchange rates and it was just this week. You can read about it here http://www.fiercehealthpayer.com/story/vermont-first-state-release-insurance-rates-plans-sold-exchange/2013-04-03?goback=.gde_3664887_member_229142696
Linda goes on to say:
“Your REALLY big companies probably will not dump their workers into state plans, remember that most employee’s are working for these big companies FOR the benefits, without incentives like that, big companies will not be able to find good employee’s. There will be companies that dump their plans because it is cheaper to pay the penalty than it is to provide the coverage. Some companies will also cut workers to Part time but only the ones that already have a high turn-around for employees.
Another FACT we do already know for a fact is that even though this penalty will apply for those that do not sign up for health insurance coverage, it will NOT be a “collectable tax” from the IRS J J This was the ONLY reason it passed the supreme court on constitutionality. The only way the IRS can make you pay it is by deducting it from your refund. They will NOT be allowed to credit report, levy, seize or garnish for this tax/penalty. A good accountant will tell you how to adjust your withholding so that this may not even affect you J If you do NOT pay this tax, they can’t do anything about it except deduct it from your refund! They cannot even bill you later, send you to collections or call you with demand for payment. If they COULD do that then the bill would NEVER have passed the Supreme Court.. see how that little tidbit works?