Ways You Can Save Under Obamacare

Yes, there are still ways employers can avoid excessive costs under Obamacare. New regulations interpreting the law reveal some of the ways you can save. In preparing for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) the federal government has issued several tidbits of information addressing its nuances. An employer should be aware of these unique items, as it may affect their bottom line and their employee benefits planning. Addressing them wisely can help to avoid specific penalties. Here are a few you should know about:

Veterans Medical Coverage


  • Veterans who are eligible for medical care under the Veterans Administration (VA) system should be encouraged to apply there. The benefits in most cases are equal to most private plans, with lower out of pocket costs. This is also a benefit for both the employer and the employee, because a veteran who is covered by the Veterans Administration medical program complies with the individual mandate and thus eliminates the possibility of a potential individual penalty. The dollars saved could be used to offer other benefits instead, such as dental coverage, which the VA does not offer to the majority of veterans.


    Native Americans Coverage


  • Native Americans who are eligible for care from the Indian Health Services are also exempt from the individual mandate. IHS coverage generally includes vision and dental services. The coverage is at no cost to the individual and may come with additional benefits that extend beyond health services such as gym memberships, financial planning, credit counseling and a host of other programs. Like veterans, Native American employees should be encouraged to take advantage of the IHS services and programs. And the dollars saved be used for other benefits that better suit the individual employee, such as optional short-term disability insurance.


    Spousal Coverage


  • Spousal coverage should be reviewed with an eye to elimination if the spouse is eligible for benefits from another source. The government’s latest interpretation of the ACA confirms it does not require spousal coverage. The spouse is free to obtain coverage through their employer as an employee or as a participant in the exchanges.


    Additional Costs for Self-Insured Employers


  • Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute fee is generally two dollars per insured person in a self-insurance plan. If you end your plan before October 1, 2013, the fee is limited to one dollar per insured person. For example, where an employee has elected family coverage for his spouse and three children, an employer would pay annually two dollars for the employee, spouse, and children or $10 total for that one employee. For employers who are self-insured, with thousands of employees, this amount would be significant.


    For more blogs from Steve Cape, go to www.geniushr.com/blog

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