Obtaining healthcare is on the mind of many people across the United States. In 2010, President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act. People believe that this act puts us back in charge of our healthcare. Whether or not you are a fan of this health program, it is important no matter who you are to understand the Affordable Care Act also known as the ACA or “Obamacare”. But it is especially important to know how this act affects your business, especially if you are a small business owner. After reading this article you should feel comfortable in knowing the ways the Affordable Care Act affects you.
Health Insurance Requirements
All health insurance needs to have 10 essential benefits. In other words, this change is an equalizer for all health insurance. No matter if you have a Group Plan or an Individual Plan, you can expect that they have these 10 benefits. These benefits include:
- Ambulatory patient services
- Emergency Services
- Maternity and Newborn Care
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services
No One Can Be Denied
Unlike in the past, the ACA makes it so no one can be denied health insurance. Before ACA was put into place, insurance agencies could deny people because of preexisting conditions but they cannot do this anymore. This also means that they cannot base the cost of your premium on gender, claims experience, or your health status. This is definitely another equalizer when it comes to health insurance. Another important thing to note is children can now stay on their parents health plans until they are 26 years old.
Individual Health Insurance Vs. Group Health Insurance
The ACA makes it so that individual health insurance is a cheaper choice. This is because of the size of the risk pool. When it comes to risk, an individual health plan spreads the risk over a much larger area. As a small business owner, the use of individual health plans is a lower financial risk. If you choose to get a group health plan, there are factors that can cause your premium rate to increase when annual renewal time rolls around. On the other hand, with individual health plans, the outcomes are more predictable and more affordable.
Small business owners are eligible for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly premiums when you buy health insurance coverage in the marketplace or in the exchange. These premium tax credits, also called subsidies, may also help pay your out of pocket costs. This is important to consider when you are choosing health insurance for your employees.
A Way to Save Money with the ACA
One way that you can save money with the Affordable Care Act is if you have less than 50 full time employees, you can and possibly should drop your Small Group Plan. Full time employees are people that work 40 or more hours in a workweek.The benefits of doing this is that you will not have to pay a fee, and you will be allowed to purchase health insurance on or off the exchange in the next month.
You should now understand some benefits of the ACA. But if you still have questions, or have decided what health plan is right for your small business, don’t hesitate to contact us. Here at Employer Advantage Group, in Westborough, MA, we would love to help you further understand the Affordable Care Act and get a health plan in action. We have a number of health plan options available for every business and budget.