Healthcare reform. Yahoo!
Not so fast! Don’t get excited just yet. While it may be seen as progressive and a monumental task to provide coverage to nearly 32 million uninsured, the cost may outweigh the gain. Benefit companies, actuarial firms, employers and most importantly, health insurers have all stated that the passage of such legislation fails to address the fundamental issue that is plaguing the healthcare system: Cost. Under the new legislation Healthcare costs are only expected to rise making it more difficult to maintain affordable healthcare coverage. In this time of uncertainty, it’s all the more wise you use an advocate to help you maintain your healthcare costs. Medical Cost Advocate can assist.
By Lydell Bridgeford
March 22, 2010
While the health care legislation passed by House Democrats on Sunday expands coverage to 32 million Americans, the measure is bound to increase the costs of employer-sponsored health benefits.
With the 219-to-212 vote, the House enacted health care legislation that imposes a 40% excise tax on employers that provide high-end insurance coverage, which would take effect in 2018. Companies with health plans that have premiums of $10,200 or more for singles and $27,500 for families are subjected to the tax. The House measure also requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide affordable health insurance or pay a penalty of up to $3,000 per worker.
Government economists estimate that the new health care law comes with a price tag of $938 billion over 10 years. Employers and employee benefits analysts assert that the government will most likely raise business taxes and fees on health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and medical-device manufacturers to foot the bill.
Most corporate leaders and business owners believe that those industries will then levy the costs of the taxes and fees onto their companies, resulting in higher premiums or reduced benefits for workers.
“The legislation significantly expands coverage for millions of Americans, and takes steps toward aligning what we pay for health care and the quality of those services. But several aspects of the legislation will inevitably increase, rather than mitigate, health care costs; and the overall financial integrity of the measure depends on future Congresses and Presidents making very tough political decisions,” says James A. Klein of the American Benefits Council. “We urge the Senate to make much-needed improvements to the new law – starting this week – as it considers the budget reconciliation measure,” Klein adds.
“The access expansions are a significant step forward, but this legislation will exacerbate the health care costs crisis facing many working families and small businesses,” says Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of the trade association America’s Health Insurance Plan.
Early this month, Helen Darling, president of National Business Group on Health, told a group of HR/benefits professionals and corporate leaders that health care reform will bring increased costs to employers. “The cost of administrating your health plan will go up. We are constantly talking to lawmakers about how expensive the administrative burden will be on some of their ideas about reforming health care,” Darling observed.
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Healthcare reform. Yahoo!