The Affordable Health Care Act known as ObamaCare will come into full effect in January. The Act has been lauded by many and feared by many. The one fact both sides agree on is that the Act is expected to reform health care as we know it.
Broad changes on the way
Under the Act, health insurance is supposed to be within virtually every person’s reach. This goal will be accomplished at least in part as follows:
- Rules prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against individuals due to gender or preexisting conditions. They cannot refuse to insure an otherwise eligible individual or raise men’s premiums as they age, even though studies show women tend to live longer than men.
- In 2014 every state must have an Affordable Insurance Exchange, an online insurance comparison shopping marketplace. All insurance plans available in a given area must be listed so companies and individuals can make informed decisions.
What larger businesses can expect
A business with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees is considered a larger business subject to the rules for employers under ObamaCare. For purposes of counting employees, two part-time employees can count as a full-time equivalent employee.
Businesses with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees may not have an affordable employee health insurance plan available in their geographical areas or industry type. If this is the case, those businesses are not required to provide health insurance. It is important to note, however, that businesses choosing to forego an “affordable” employee health insurance plan could end up paying stiff penalties.
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