October 1, 2013

One Employer’s Perspective (mine) on the Affordable Health Care Act

the Affordable Care Act being passed

Within my own company, a small business of less than 20 employees, my stance as a co-founder has always been that we will do as much as we can to help obtain and pay for health insurance for our team. Just like you, suffice to say that over the past seven years we’ve run into plenty of challenges when attempting to obtain affordable plans.

In the end, the insurance industry’s goal, and their obligation to their investors – to be profitable, no matter what – often conflicts with our employees’ very real health coverage needs. That is to say, when you are or have been sick, insurance companies inevitably look for ways to limit coverage, deny specific costs, or keep you from gaining coverage in the first place. This marginalizes the people who need care the most. And in that margin lies much of the industry’s profit.

One of the most common arguments I hear against the new plan, which I do not contest is flawed in many ways, is a moral argument against those who “do not deserve” to be covered because they are lazy or “gaming the system.” This argument is in many ways a valid one, as no productive taxpaying member of society wants to pay for those who are seemingly too lazy to get out there and provide for themselves.

In the end, though, the solution to that problem can’t be to say that in order to keep some people from taking advantage, we must deny everyone else an opportunity to find and purchase affordable care. I still don’t have an answer to the question that usually follows: how do we pay for it all while letting the insurance companies, as proper middlemen, continue skimming off billions of dollars in profits?

Regardless of whether we, as employers, can see the road ahead clearly, we have to keep driving. I was listening to NPR the other day and heard two great interviews on the subject of the new Affordable Health Care Act. I’m providing links to both in this post. And before you label me as some kind of bleeding-heart liberal for listening to NPR, I can assure you that this is only one of several sources I use to get information. Two sources I never use are MSNBC and Fox.

Can providing coverage actually give your company an advantage?

The first of these interviews involved the head of HR at a major corporation discussing their plans for moving forward and their position on compliance, as well as how increasing hours and providing insurance for more workers is actually going to add to their bottom line.

People have tons of unanswered questions

The other interview was with an expert who answers several questions about the provisions and rules governing how the marketplace will work. You may want to share that link with your employees, family members, and friends.

Pros and cons and opinions aside, good luck to all of you shopping for new care options for your employees.

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.

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