As you have likely heard, the Healthcare Reform Act requires that all large employers (50 or more workers) provide insurance to their employees. And not unlike several other addendums, this mandate has been pushed back – again. The administration is basically scaling back completely for medium sized businesses and less so, but still significantly, for the largest. Here are the keys to understanding the changes:
- Businesses with 50 to 99 employees receive what amounts to a full year’s pass. For these companies (which affects the business segment that employs around 7 percent of the entire workforce), they will not have to worry about the mandate until 2016.
- Business who employ 100+ workers no longer have to cover 95 percent of employees, as the new addendum say only 70 percent. Of course, like the aforementioned addendum, this only holds true until 2016 when it will revert back to the original policy of 95 percent. Incidentally, this directly affects businesses that account for the employment of 66 percent of today’s total workforce.
- Volunteers (like volunteer firefighters) will NOT count as employees inasmuch as health care is concerned. This effort was to eliminate considerations to remove such volunteer positions.
While in another world, such mandate delays could have political ramifications. However, when it comes to the Healthcare Reform Act, one of the most polarizing topics in the national spotlight, most have already taken their position so this latest maneuver is not likely to move the needle. And as far as what it means for those covered, numbers show that the delay will likely amount to a relatively small, if not completely insignificant change.