Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Health Care Premium Increases "at the Lowest Rate in 15 Years!" Damn that Obamacare?

Lookout, the "sky is falling" Obamacare mandate will push rates sky high. Wrong!!!

After slowly rolling out reform the last 3 years, the doom and gloomers are looking "tea party stupid."  
jsonline: The cost of providing health benefits this year increased at the lowest rate in 15 years, rising 4.5% in the Milwaukee area and 4.1% nationally, according to an annual survey by Mercer, a benefits consulting company.

The survey found that employers in the Milwaukee areas will spend an average of $11,867 per employee on health benefits this year. The increase was after changes in health design such as increases in deductibles and co-pay.
CEO job threats and downsizing may be just as knee jerk a reaction. The Affordable Care Act's impact on business isn't quite what many corporate Chicken Little's have made it out to be. If you're a small business, check out this explanation: 
CBS News: A specific rule in the 2010 Affordable Care Act that goes into effect in 2014; businesses with more than 50 full-time employees that don't offer insurance -- and have at least one employee getting health care subsidies -- will have to pay a fine of $2,000 per worker (beyond the first 30 workers). In subsequent years, the fine will increase to match growth in per capita insurance premiums.

The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) says that as few as 10,000 U.S. businesses out of six million (less than 0.2 percent) will be hit with the requirement. The vast majority of businesses -- 96 percent -- have fewer than 50 employees and thus will be exempt, according to the department. Furthermore, of those firms with more than 50 employees, more than 96 percent already offer health insurance to their workers.

Another aspect of the health care law aims to make it cheaper for small businesses to provide insurance for their employees: Starting in 2014, firms with up to 100 employees will have access to state-based Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges, which are intended to increase competitive pressure on insurers and bring down costs.

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