Not quite sure you understand this health care reform debate? Saying to yourself — yes, we need to change the current system, but what exactly will this House bill they’re going to vote on tomorrow do to business? Businesses that, by the way, provide the jobs that allow people to have health insurance in the first place.
Below are just a few of the burdens on employers that are part of H.R. 3962. After reading this, if you’re ready to fire off that "VOTE NO" letter to your congressman, go here. It’s not too late.
- All employers with total payroll over $500,000 will be required to provide “Qualified Health Benefits” for their employees and their dependents or pay a payroll tax on a sliding scale of up to 8% of payroll
- Employers will be required to pay 72.5% of premiums for their employees and are further required to provide dependent coverage (and pay 65% of the premiums)
- Allow individuals (dependents of employees) who are under 27 to remain on an employer’s plan
- Shortens the time that plans can look back for pre-existing conditions from six months to 30 days and shortens the time plans may exclude coverage from 12 months to three months
- No lifetime limits on coverage for all health plans
- New provider network adequacy requirements on all health plans
- New minimum actuarial value requirements on all health coverage
- After five years, all plans will also be required to meet the “qualified health plan” definition – ERISA plans will no longer have design flexibility
- Expansion of COBRA coverage until insurance exchanges are implemented
- New premium tax on all participants in fully-insured and self-insured plans to fund comparative effectiveness research program (new tax)
- Eliminates deduction for expenses that can be allocated to the Medicare Part D subsidy
- Employers are prohibited from making changes to their retiree health benefits, unless health plan is also changed for active beneficiaries
- Limits maximum amount that an employee can save in a Flexible Spending Account to $2,500, indexed to inflation
- Increases the penalty from non-qualified distributions from Health Savings Accounts to 20 percent (from 10 percent)
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Spending Accounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) will no longer be eligible for over-the-counter medical purchases, except with a physician’s consent
- Mental health parity required for ALL employers (including 50 and under which were carved out)
- New onerous record keeping requirements on employers
Again, the effort to create a much-needed solution is instead going to create a mess that it may not be possible to recover from. Contact your representatives in Congress and tell them to "just say no."