(sample post) It may not be immediately obvious in the aftermath of the health reform battle, but the fight is now over. Health care reform is here to stay. Notable changes begin in earnest this year and continue through 2018. These changes affect nearly every aspect of the insurance and delivery systems, including how employers buy care, what they get, how much it costs, and how it’s taxed.
But which parts of the complicated bill are relevant for employers? A brief synopsis of the major changes that lie ahead, by year:
- Coverage from Mom and Dad. Beginning in September, dependent adults up to 26 years old, even if they are married, may stay on their parents’ health plans, giving them added measures of security and mobility. This will have special implications for interns, temporary workers, and any employer that hires younger workers in significant number.
- No more canceled policies. Also in September, insurance companies will be barred from canceling coverage for any reason other than fraud or non-payment of premiums, thus eliminating small employers’ concerns that they might lose coverage should a worker get catastrophically sick.
- Tax credits for small businesses. Retroactive to the beginning of the year, billions of dollars in tax credits for the nation’s smallest employers are now available to help offset the cost of coverage. These credits are on a sliding scale, with the full 35 percent credit available to firms with fewer than 10 employees and average wages under $25,000. Lesser credits are available for firms with up to 25 employees and average wages under $50,000. Some good news: the credits increase to 50 percent by 2014.