Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ACA (Obamacare) Updates

Latest news on Obamacare:

Narrow Networks - Some customers of the new insurance exchanges may be surprised at the "narrow network" included in their insurance coverage.

Narrow networks have a limited list of approved provider and will likely make out-of-network treatment difficult if not impossible.

This is just now hitting the news, a few days before the exchanges begin operations.


Private Exchanges - The concept of health insurance exchanges is being adopted by employers looking for cheaper coverage and fewer hassles, putting employees into private exchanges managed by various consultants and facilitators.

It is too early to judge the scope of this innovation, but it could become a very large factor in employer provided health insurance.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Latest Obamacare Confusion

Obamacare is complicated. ACA is a very complex plan with numerous phase-ins cluttered with multiple implementation delays.

The latest confusion involves employer notification requirements.

The employer insurance mandate has been DELAYED UNTIL 2014

The employer notice of the existence of health insurance exchanges is still in place October 1, 2013.

It gets worse.

Small employers (below the 50 FTE threshold) not required to provide insurance ARE REQUIRED to send the notices to employees on or before October 1st, and are required to give notices to new employees with 14 days of the start date. Large employers are also required, as they should know.

Any employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (overtime and minimum) wage is subject to the requirement, effectively just about every employer in the country.

The requirement will be enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor, and although opinions vary it is best to assume a daily penalty for failure to comply.