The second year of the Obama administration’s health-insurance program starts Nov. 15, with new deadlines, prices and options for the millions of Americans who have obtained coverage under the law—and, for the uninsured, opportunities to get coverage.
“Exchanges don’t ask if you’re self-employed,” said David Chase, health care policy director at Sausalito, Calif.-based advocacy group Small Business Majority. “But with over a million people in the exchange, … it’s reasonable to assume they’re a large part of that number.
Covered California will offer the same six health plans next year in its Small Business Health Options Programs — better known as SHOP — but add flexibility for employers, greater choice for employees and the option of buying adult dental coverage.
Many businesses have employees for whom it may be difficult to calculate hours of service or are uncertain how to treat certain categories of employees with regard to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Paying special attention to these complex employee classification rules can avoid potentially costly mistakes.
The new website is a Spanish version of the Health Law Guide for Business. Backed by The California Endowment, the site was established in 2012 by business interests and small employer advocates to provide up-to-date information about the Affordable Care Act.
For decades, health coverage in the U.S. has been closely linked to employment. The vast majority of Americans have received health coverage through their jobs and will continue to do so in the Obamacare era. But they no longer have to.
Many employers had thought they could shift health costs to the government by sending their employees to a health insurance exchange with a tax-free contribution of cash to help pay premiums, but the Obama administration has squelched the idea in a new ruling. Such arrangements do not satisfy the health care law, the administration said, and employers may be subject to a tax penalty of $100 a day — or $36,500 a year — for each employee who goes into the individual marketplace.
Most California small business owners don’t think Obamacare and a rise in the minimum wage will have a negative effect on their operations, indicating that fears associated with those changes aren’t resulting in real harm for many.
Tucked inside the so-called Medicare “doc fix” bill — must-pass legislation to forestall steep cuts in payments to doctors — that President Obama recently signed was a separate provision that removed restrictions on deductibles in small-business health plans.
Under California’s new policy, anyone who tried to enroll by Monday and faced difficulties now has until April 15 to finish enrollment. The state said no proof is required, so it’s essentially the honor system.
In a sense, Obamacare amounts to a massive transfer of risk. Under the old system, if you quit your job and couldn’t get health insurance, you courted financial ruin every time you did something as mundane as riding your bike or playing pickup basketball.
California’s state-run Obamacare market says its exceeded its 2014 open-enrollment goal with six weeks left to go in the sign-up period.
Through last Friday, Covered California had enrolled 828,638 people in private health plans, including more than 100,000 in the first two weeks of February, the health exchange said on its official Twitter account.
In the state of California, Covered California’s Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, developed a marketplace designed for small businesses with one to 50 eligible employees. An eligible employee works an average of 30 hours a week. Through SHOP, small business owners are able to offer a variety of plans to their employees.