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Health Insurance Exchange: Income and Insurance Verification Delayed Until 2015 July 9, 2013

Posted by QUOTEBROKER in Affordable Health Insurance, California Health Insurance, Health Care Reform, Health Insurance, Health Insurance 101, Individual Health Insurance, QuoteBroker.
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While many of us were enjoying a long holiday weekend, the Obama administration chose the Friday after Independence Day to release a major announcement pertaining to the Affordable Care Act.  According to the Washington Post, income and insurance verification requirements will be significantly scaled back until 2015.

The delay comes in an effort to implement verification systems on an electronic basis.  With the technology unavailable, the federal government will rely largely on self-reported data in the first year of the Affordable Care Act’s implementation.  Without person-by-person verification, there are numerous opportunities for fraud to occur.   For example, the exchanges where consumers will actually purchase the coverage were previously obligated to verify that an applicant didn’t have coverage elsewhere that would disqualify them from eligibility.  With no verification in place, we’re likely to see applicants who lie on their application in order to take advantage of a government subsidy that would be otherwise unavailable to them.  This would cause financial projections on costs of subsidies and number of enrolled members to be too low, throwing the budget out of balance.  It would also cause unforeseen stress on the exchange system’s administration capacity as well as the individual health insurance carriers’ network of doctors.

The government will audit a “statistically significant” sample of applicants, and verify their submitted financial information against government records.  However, for those who are not audited, they will accept a self-reported attestation- also known as “the honor system.”

Combined with the news that the employer mandate to offer coverage has been delayed until 2015, this is not heartening news for the Affordable Care Act and its supporters.  While removing these regulations and failsafes will make implementation easier this year, it is likely to be a long term detriment to both the system and its users.

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Big news for employers- ACA’s “Employer Mandate” implementation delayed until 2015 July 2, 2013

Posted by QUOTEBROKER in Insurance Quotes.
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Big news just released by the Obama administration. The “Employer Mandate”, the provision of the ACA which requires employers with 50+ employees to offer coverage, has been delayed until 2015. While the vast majority of businesses larger than 50 employees already offer coverage, this is going to greatly affect those that do not.

For employers, this is good news. With the penalty for not providing coverage removed, employers who had implemented hiring freezes or just merely fretted over employee counts approaching 50- the point at which penalties can apply for not providing coverage- can relax for another year. However, the employer mandate was merely delayed, not eliminated entirely, so it would be wise to take advantage of the delay to properly implement and employee benefits program for 2015.

For employees of groups not offering insurance, this is a blow. However due to the other provisions of the ACA, their misfortune is not as dire. Starting October 1, 2013, these employees can now enter the individual exchange. Depending on their income, they may be eligible for a subsidy from the government to help pay their monthly premiums or even their medical costs.

As with everything involving the ACA, some individuals will benefit and others will suffer.  Employers who would still like to provide benefits are free to do so.  Employee benefits, and especially health insurance, are a key figure in attracting the best and brightest employees- and retaining them.  Employers who would not like to pay for employee benefits, but would still like to assist their employees in obtaining quality healthcare are encouraged to send their employees to the applicable government exchange, eligibility for which can be determined at http://www.quotebroker.com or by calling 800-783-0802.  If eligible, the government subsidy obtained through the exchange could go a long way toward filling or even closing the gap left by not providing employer sponsored health care.

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