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Employers get a delay in providing insurance
Old 07-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
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Employers get a delay in providing insurance

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The Obama administration has offered a one-year break to employers who were supposed to start offering health insurance to their workers next year.
Employers get an extra year to provide health insurance - NBC News.com
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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I would guess that employees of large companies who don't provide insurance will be held to the individual mandate.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #3
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It's ridiculous, the law has all kinds of opponents trying to sabotage it and now the administration plays right into their hands.

Like 3 years wasn't enough time for businesses to get this right.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:02 PM   #4
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I don't see how the " Obama Administration " has the authority and power to exempt certain people from the law. Scary.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:08 PM   #5
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If the executive branch doesn't, who does?


Businesses will hire if additional employees are required to produce greater revenues and if those revenues are higher than the costs for those additional employees.

Companies still provide health care coverage to employees and not only manage to keep them employed but make money.

If the attitude that "it costs too much for businesses" prevailed, we wouldn't have any of the labor reforms from the first part of the 20th-century that we all benefit from.

Skilled or educated employees are still needed to make money. To attract and retain such employees, businesses may have to compensate them well. Novel concept these days but some employers seem to be able to cope.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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I don't see how the " Obama Administration " has the authority and power to exempt certain people from the law. Scary.
Agree. First SHOP delay, now this. I was not a supporter of ACA, however gov't officials wantonly violating important terms of valid law upheld by SCOTUS is very, very slippery slope. When does US law become meaningless
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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I wonder if the really scary part is the fact that a govt. entity may actually be listening to the business community and acting on their concerns...

Quote:
Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett issued her own post on the White House blog, titled “We’re Listening to Businesses about the Health Care Law.” It echoed much of what Mazur said, and pointed out that the reporting requirements for employers — even those already in compliance with the law — were more than what businesses expected.

Jarrett wrote: “We have heard the concern that the reporting called for under the law about each worker’s access to and enrollment in health insurance requires new data collection systems and coordination. So we plan to revamp and simplify the reporting process. Some of this detailed reporting may be unnecessary for businesses that more than meet the minimum standards in the law. We will convene employers, insurers and experts to propose a smarter system and, in the interim, suspend reporting for 2014.”
Administration says it will delay Obamacare penalties for large firms - Health Exchange - MarketWatch
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ERhoosier

Agree. First SHOP delay, now this. I was not a supporter of ACA, however gov't officials wantonly violating important terms of valid law upheld by SCOTUS is very, very slippery slope. When does US law become meaningless
I suppose that this would be considered another Executive Order, I agree, a slippery slope by any administrator.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:45 PM   #9
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Scary part is that they keep bending over, resulting in watering it down over and over, for the interests of businesses over consumers.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I wonder if the really scary part is the fact that a govt. entity may actually be listening to the business community and acting on their concerns...

Administration says it will delay Obamacare penalties for large firms - Health Exchange - MarketWatch
+1 What an outrage!


From the NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/us...2015.html?_r=0

Quote:
Behind the scenes, however, the administration has been fielding questions and criticism from businesses about the mandated reporting requirements — especially the Treasury Department, which has responsibility, given its oversight of the nation’s tax reporting system.

Mr. Mazur wrote that the one-year delay “will allow us to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law." He added, “Second, it will provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees.”
They haven't changes any rules, they have delayed implementation of one part for a year. This will be a problem for the exchanges, because they need to know if an employee has access to affordable coverage to determine eligibility for premium assistance.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by REWahoo
I wonder if the really scary part is the fact that a govt. entity may actually be listening to the business community and acting on their concerns...

Administration says it will delay Obamacare penalties for large firms - Health Exchange - MarketWatch
Even Howard Dean wants to dissolve the employer/employee insurance relationship. Hopefully, this is a start of a bigger move with employers eventually given a choice as to whether they offer insurance.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by explanade View Post
If the executive branch doesn't, who does?


Businesses will hire if additional employees are required to produce greater revenues and if those revenues are higher than the costs for those additional employees.

Companies still provide health care coverage to employees and not only manage to keep them employed but make money.

If the attitude that "it costs too much for businesses" prevailed, we wouldn't have any of the labor reforms from the first part of the 20th-century that we all benefit from.

Skilled or educated employees are still needed to make money. To attract and retain such employees, businesses may have to compensate them well. Novel concept these days but some employers seem to be able to cope.
There are lots of companies whose owners will not go beyond 49 employees because of this (if they don't already provide health benefits). In my pre-FIRE company, employees paid about $500 per month of the $1700 per month cost of family health, dental, and vision coverage. The difference is $14400 per year. If a hypothetical company of 49 employees crosses the threshold of 50, using the same cost to employee and employer assumptions, the addition of a single employee would cost the company an addition $705600 in health coverage, plus the salary of he additional employee. This could therefore easily be a three-quarter million cost addition for one employee. There aren't many employees who generate that kind of profit. Thus, until such companies can generate that extra $14,400 per existing employee thru performance enhancement or efficiency enhancements, owners of such small companies WILL hesitate to add employees.

Perhaps real numbers help to better illustrate the issue.

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Old 07-02-2013, 07:05 PM   #13
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But if the business can't have more than 49 employees, what is its potential for growing revenues?

They could change the threshold to 100 or 1000 and you'll still have complaints about costs.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:06 PM   #14
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Employers can hire contractors, consultants, or temporaries to avoid going above the 50 FTE limit. There were already alternatives in place.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:09 PM   #15
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Hmm, that's not a good trend, having more temp employees.

Certainly a way to avoid paying benefits so these temp workers would be eligible for the exchanges, unless their temp agencies have to cover them?
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:23 PM   #16
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Hate to disappoint, but this announcement doesn't affect employers with less than 50 employees. It does delay for one year the requirement for large employers to provide affordable insurance. What remains to be seen is how this change will be handled by the state exchanges.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #17
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Here's the table of contents for forty pages of proposed Treasury regulations affecting large employers. I can see why businesses were concerned.

Found here, in a Treasury Department announcement of an April public hearing on the proposed employer responsibility regulations. http://www.irs.gov/file_source/pub/n...-138006-12.pdf

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Section 54.4980H-1 Definitions.

(a) Definitions.
(1) Administrative period.
(2) Advance credit payment.
(3) Affordable Care Act.
(4) Applicable large employer.
(5) Applicable large employer member.
(6) Applicable premium tax credit.
(7) Calendar month.
(8) Church, or a convention or association of churches.
(9) Collective bargaining agreement.
(10) Cost sharing reduction.
(11) Dependent.
(12) Eligible employer-sponsored plan.
(13) Employee.
(14) Employer.
(15) Exchange.
(16) Federal poverty line.
(17) Form W-2 wages.
(18) Full-time employee.
(19) Full-time equivalent employee (FTE).
(20) Government entity.
(21) Hour of service.
(22) Initial measurement period.
(23) Minimum essential coverage.
(24) Minimum value.
(25) Month.
(26) New employee.
(27) Ongoing employee.
(28) Period of employment.
(29) Person.
(30) Plan year.
(31) Predecessor employer.
(32) Qualified health plan.
(33) Seasonal employee.
(34) Seasonal worker.
(35) Section 1411 certification.
(36) Section 4980H(a) applicable payment amount.
(37) Section 4980H(b) applicable payment amount.
(38) Self-only coverage.
(39) Stability period.
(40) Standard measurement period.
(41) Start date.
(42) United States.
(43) Variable hour employee.
(44) Week.
(b) Effective/applicability date.

Section 54.4980H-2 Applicable large employer and applicable large employer member.

(a) In general.
(b) Determining applicable large employer status.
(1) In general.
(2) Seasonal worker exception.
(3) Employers not in existence in preceding calendar year.
(4) Special rules for government entities, churches, and conventions and associations of churches.
(c) Full-time equivalent employees (FTEs).
(1) In general.
(2) Calculating the number of FTEs.
(d) Examples.
(e) Effectively/applicability date.

Section 54.4980H-3 Determining full-time employees.

(a) In general.
(b) Hours of service.
(1) Hourly employee calculation.
(2) Non-hourly employee’s calculation.
(c) Look-back measurement method.
(1) Ongoing employees.
(2) New non-variable hour and non-seasonal employees.
(3) New variable hour and new seasonal employees.
(4) Transition from new employee to ongoing employee.
(5) Examples.
(d) Change in employment status.
(1) In general.
(2) Examples.
(e) Employee rehires.
(1) Treatment as a new employee.
(2) Employment break period defined.
(3) Special unpaid leave defined.
(4) Averaging method for employment break periods and certain other unpaid leave.
(5) Anti-abuse rule.
(6) Examples.
(f) Nonpayment or late payment of premiums.
(g) Effective/applicability date.

Section 54.4980H-4 Assessable payments under section 4980H(a).

(a) In general.
(b) Offer of coverage.
(c) Partial calendar month.
(d) Allocated reduction of 30 full-time employees.
(e) Example.
(f) Effective/applicability date.

Section 54.4980H-5 Assessable payments under section 4980H(b).

(a) In general.
(b) Offer of coverage.
(c) Partial calendar month.
(d) Applicability to applicable large employer member.
(e) Affordability.
(1) In general.
(2) Affordability safe harbors for section 4980H(b) purposes.
(f) Effective/applicability date.

Section 54.4980H-6 Administration and procedure.

(a) Reserved.
(b) Effective/applicability date.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Htown Harry
Here's the table of contents for forty pages of proposed Treasury regulations affecting large employers. I can see why businesses were concerned.

Found here, in a Treasury Department announcement of an April public hearing on the proposed employer responsibility regulations. http://www.irs.gov/file_source/pub/n...-138006-12.pdf
That doesn't look very onerous. One person should be able to implement it in a few days. Certainly, nowhere near as complicated to construct and adhere to as HIPAA regulations, electronic records, and managing the ACA at point of service.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:56 PM   #19
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This will be a problem for the exchanges, because they need to know if an employee has access to affordable coverage to determine eligibility for premium assistance.
Maybe.

The Department of Labor has published guidance and model letters that will be issued to employees. Sometime around when the exchanges open, all (?) employers are supposed to send out a letter to each employee that will have checkboxes that states whether the employer offers insurance and whether their offering meets the 60% "minimum value" test. ("If checked, this coverage meets the minimum value standard, and the cost of this coverage to you is intended to be affordable, based on employee wages.")
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/index.html

Seems to me a quick amendment to the DOL rules to require a data dump that matches employee SSN's to that check box could get the necessary data to the exchanges.

Or something like that. My point is that a staightforward 90%+ solution is probably achievable, at least for the specific issue of checking for applicants fibbing on whether they have employer coverage.

I'm sure BUU will be around shortly to point out that I've just changed the exchanges' software requirements document three months before the Go Live deadline.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:15 PM   #20
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Maybe.

The Department of Labor has published guidance and model letters that will be issued to employees. Sometime around when the exchanges open, all (?) employers are supposed to send out a letter to each employee that will have checkboxes that states whether the employer offers insurance and whether their offering meets the 60% "minimum value" test. ("If checked, this coverage meets the minimum value standard, and the cost of this coverage to you is intended to be affordable, based on employee wages.")
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/index.html

Seems to me a quick amendment to the DOL rules to require a data dump that matches employee SSN's to that check box could get the necessary data to the exchanges.

Or something like that. My point is that a staightforward 90%+ solution is probably achievable, at least for the specific issue of checking for applicants fibbing on whether they have employer coverage.

I'm sure BUU will be around shortly to point out that I've just changed the exchanges' software requirements document three months before the Go Live deadline.
Good point, you may be right. The key is which regulations and reporting requirements continue and which are deferred for a year. We will know in another week or so.

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