Employers that offer a health savings account might gain a competitive advantage in employee recruitment and retention. An HSA can significantly reduce employees’ taxes while giving them an important investment option, making an HSA a valuable financial wellness tool, writes Liz Ryan. HSAs can be offered as a long-term benefit like a 401(k) as well as an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, Ryan writes.
Obamacare to date has failed miserably relative to what was originally promised regarding how many people would get covered and the number of these who would obtain their coverage through the Obamacare exchanges.
The president’s claim that “America is on a stronger footing because of the Affordable Care Act” is dubious at best. Literally no major promise made for this law has been kept and some have been broken quite egregiously.
The Congressional Budget Office projects millions of workers will leave employer-sponsored health plans over the next decade because of ObamaCare.
Some will opt to go on Medicaid, but others will be kicked off their company plans by employers who decide not to offer coverage anymore, according to a new CBO report titled, “Federal Subsidies for Health Insurance Coverage for People Under Age 65: 2016 to 2026.”
Based on the data included in this report, it is clear that health insurance premium costs have continued to grow despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Furthermore, health care premium costs are rising at a rate comparable to the years directly preceding the election of President Obama and passage of the Affordable Care Act. As costs continue to rise, millions of families will face tough financial choices and make even more sacrifices. For those who have experienced little to no increase in wages, health insurance may simply become unaffordable and the prospect of paying a tax penalty may become another unwanted reality.
For those who have enrolled in new health insurance plans on the exchanges, recent premium increases have been even worse. And in 2016, deductibles have gone up for those very same individuals. Worst of all, the outlook for 2017 is no brighter. As University of Minnesota scholar Stephen Parente’s research estimates, each type of health care plan on the exchanges can expect to see a premium increase, with the average increase being 7.3 percent for families and 11 percent for individuals.
The Bureau of Insurance hoped to stem Community Health Options’ losses, partly by ending as many as 17,000 policies, but CMS rejected the temporary plan.
Eric Cioppa, the state’s insurance regulator, wrote in the letter to CMS, his bureau “would have acted to reduce membership, increase capital and thereby better protect the remaining (co-op) members and their health care providers from the risk presented by the type of losses experienced in 2015. Because CMS’s decision has precluded my ability to act as proposed, CMS now must share responsibility for the risk of an outcome we all very much hope to avoid.”
President Obama and the Supreme Court have effectively replaced the ACA with something we now call “ObamaCare.”
Unfortunately, ObamaCare doesn’t work much better than the ACA. ObamaCare is still causing Americans to lose their health plans, still driving premiums higher, and still causing their coverage to erode.
Kaiser Family Foundation released a survey Wednesday, which revealed among Republicans, 26 percent named Donald Trump as the candidate they most trust to represent their views on the health care, while 21 percent picked Ted Cruz. Fewer registered Republicans named John Kasich. Independents surveyed were more likely to choose either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders than a Republican candidate, the report says.
Overall, the survey shows, health care is an important issue to a majority of registered voters.
Both the percentage of employers who offer insurance and the percentage of people covered will be important to watch as the changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to unfold. New coverage provisions and financial assistance provided in the ACA affect employers’ decision to offer coverage and employees’ decisions to take up any coverage they are offered at work. The employer shared responsibility provision, for example, requires employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to offer coverage to full-time employees and their dependent children or face a financial penalty.
Along with releasing end-of-the-year 2015 enrollment data for the Affordable Care Act exchanges last Friday afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services also released data for the 2016 open enrollment period. Just like the end-of-the year 2015 enrollment data, which I discussed on Monday, a close look at the 2016 open enrollment data reveals that the ACA is significantly underperforming initial expectations.
The big story is how little has changed from 2015 to 2016. The number of 2016 exchange enrollees is up only slightly from last year, and the make-up of the risk pool—as proxied by income and age of enrollees—is virtually identical.
Last year’s final enrollment numbers under President Barack Obama’s health care law fell just short of a target the administration had set, the government reported Friday.
The numbers are important because the insurance markets created by the president’s 2010 health care law face challenges building and maintaining enrollment. The marketplaces offer subsidized private insurance to people who don’t have access to job-based coverage.
The report from the Health and Human Services Department said about 8.8 million consumers were still signed up and paying premiums at the end of last year.
HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell had set a goal of having 9.1 million customers by then.