"First, no matter what you've heard, if you like your doctor or healthcare plan, you can keep it..."
"If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
One casualty of the new health care law may be paid coverage for families of people who work for small businesses. Insurance companies have already warned small business customers that premiums could rise 20 percent or more in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. That's making some owners consider not paying for coverage for workers' families, even though insurance is a benefit that helps companies attract and retain top talent. If more small business owners decide to stop paying for family coverage, it will accelerate a trend that started as the cost of health insurance soared in recent years. Under the law, companies with 50 or more employees are required to provide affordable coverage for their workers. They also must offer health insurance to employees' dependents, but don't have to pay for it. And they aren't required to offer insurance at all to employees' spouses.
Unsurprisingly, the "Affordable Care Act" is exacerbating and accelerating some of the healthcare market's worst, er, pre-existing conditions:
Premiums have been soaring for years because of the rising cost of medical care. But the ACA also has requirements that may drive premiums higher, including a tax on insurance companies that is expected to be passed along to employers...The ACA is accelerating a trend toward reducing family coverage that has been in place for a number of years at companies of all sizes as employers try to cut costs, according to health insurance brokers. But family coverage is particularly in jeopardy at small companies.
Remember, this law was supposed to reduce family premiums by $2,500 per year, not drive them even higher. And it was supposed to create a new trend toward more coverage, not incentivize businesses to drop and dump, just to stay in businesses. Now employees and their families may sit in limbo for some time, due to uncertainties in the law:
Small business consultants say their clients are holding off on making decisions about dependent coverage because it's such a sore subject with employees, and because owners have so few answers about their costs at this point. Not only are premiums for 2014 not set, many consultants and benefits advisers also say it will take at least a year, and perhaps two or three years, to get a true picture of how much the ACA will cost.
The opening of the health insurance marketplaces in October – key to Obamacare – is in jeopardy because of looming questions about information security. The problem stems from tight deadlines that must be met to ensure the security of data moving through an information system that supports the marketplaces, sometimes referred to as exchanges, according to a new government watchdog report....The Obama administration had expected Tony Trenkle, the chief information officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to decide Sept. 4 whether information routed through the hub was secure from hackers and identity thieves. But a new report by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services says that decision now is expected Sept. 30, only a day before open enrollment on the marketplaces is scheduled to begin. Any further delays, the report said, mean the chief information officer may not have enough time to gauge the security of data transfers.