??Health care reform is a complex and often polarizing topic. Much of the law is written to protect the beneficiary. Companies and employees want insurance that is broad and affordable.
Company-provided health care insurance is a key benefit sought by workers. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — the “real” name of the healthcare reform bill signed by President Obama last year this week — certainly addresses many issues that will benefit workers.
While not a comprehensive summation on the topic, there are some key points worth mentioning that change the status quo.
Insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to children (younger than 19) with pre-existing conditions. It does not mean that the coverage will be inexpensive, just that it will be available. In addition, young adults may stay on their parents’ health plan until age 26 regardless of whether or not they are living at home, or are married.
Health plans no longer may set a lifetime dollar limit or cap on benefits. This means coverage cannot be terminated once a certain dollar amount is reached.
In instances of suspected fraud, insurance carriers need to prove that information was intentionally left out or altered in an application before they can cancel a policy. Also health claims cannot be denied without giving the individual an opportunity to appeal the decision to the insurance company. And should the claim be denied again, individuals have the right to appeal that decision to an independent reviewer.
In addition, new healthcare plans are required to offer access to preventative services such as vaccinations, screenings and counseling free of charge. This includes no co-insurance, deductible or co-payment. And depending on one’s age, these services may include tests for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes; routine vaccinations; cancer screenings; pneumonia and flu shots; and well-baby and well-child visits up to age 21.
John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, a national small business advocacy organization, believes small businesses are not going to lose out with health care reform.
He says many insurers saw a dramatic increase in small group plan enrollments in 2010, when the law went into effect, due to tax credits. United Health Group, the nation’s largest insurance company, enrolled 75,000 new small-business employees, while Coventry Health Care added 115,000 new enrollees. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City said its 58 percent increase in small-business coverage was attributed to the tax credits, while 38 percent of new business came from companies that did not previously offer insurance.
In 2009, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted a number of expected benefits. Among them: premiums for small businesses will go down; there will be a lower administrative overhead; there will be greater competition; and a simplification of administrative duties from a physicians’ perspective.
With different portions of the law taking affect in coming years, it remains to be seen just what the ramifications will be on the nation’s businesses.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging opportunity within healthcare or you’re searching for staff to support your medical firm, you should know that Med-Scribe, Inc. offers a comprehensive medical plan — with a significant employer contribution — to our employees when they are on assignment with us. We think it is important for people working in medicine to receive medical coverage. Employers considering utilizing contract employees should inquire as to the specific health benefits provided to the employees of our service. We look forward to hearing from you!