Health Care Reform Update

With the Senate’s recent passage of its Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, only resolution with the House’s Affordable Health Care for America Act and a Presidential signature are required to make these long debated proposals the laws of the land.  At this time, it is important for employers and individuals to really understand what their obligations and opportunities could be under these plans.  Here is a detailed side-by-side comparison of both.  I will attempt to highlight a few provisions here:

Individual Mandate:

  • Mandates begin in 2013 for the House and 2014 for the Senate.
  • House penalties begin sooner and are more severe than what the Senate has proposed.
  • Both contain exceptions for people with low incomes.
  • Both provide premium credits and cost sharing subsidies for individuals and families tied to the FPL.

Employer Requirements:

  • Mandates begin in 2013 for the House and 2014 for the Senate.
  • House exempts businesses with annual payroll below $500,000.  Senate exempts employers with fewer than 50 employees.
  • Panalties for non-compliance are much more onerous under the House than the Senate proposal.
  • House imposes minimum employer contribution thresholds.  Senate imposes a free choice voucher for low income earners.
  • Small Business tax credits are available as early as 2010 in the Senate and 2013 in the House.

We are obviously watching this process unfold very closely.  Unfortunately, it seems like the consolidation of these proposals will happen behind closed doors with only a few of our elected representatives present.  There seems to be a mindset in Congress to get something passed.  So, as soon as information comes out, we will pass it along to you.

In the meantime, you can catch more frequent updates via Twitter.  As always, don’t hesitate to ask if you have a questions or concern.

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2 comments

  1. Cindy Horne · January 8, 2010

    Hi Tom,
    Appreciate the information you have put together on the health care reform. I am curious, who do you see monitoring the majority of the reform? I would say the Federal government may have to set up new agencies to do this and State Departments of Insurance will have to staff up to handle this also.

    What is your take?

    Thanks,
    Cindy Horne

    • tomdaly · January 19, 2010

      Policing what they have proposed is impossible. But, efforts to do so will increase the size of these types of agencies. They haven’t thought this one through. It is a tremendous opportunity wasted so far.

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