Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Many Big Employers Plan To Offer Skimpy Health Options Despite Law

NPR reports:
Nearly 1 in 6 companies plans to offer health coverage that doesn't meet the Affordable Care Act's requirements for value and affordability, a national survey of employers finds.

Many thought such skimpy coverage once the health law was fully implemented this year. Instead, 16 percent of large employers in a by the National Business Group on Health said they will offer in 2015 these so-called skinny plans along with at least one insurance option that does qualify under ACA standards.

The results weren't entirely unexpected. Last year, it became clear that ACA regulations would allow skinny plans and even make them attractive for some employers. But this survey gives one of the first looks at how many companies followed through.

"It is a little higher than I would have expected but does not surprise me," says Timothy Jost, a law professor who specializes in consumer health at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. "It would be interesting to know what sectors of the economy these employers are in." Low-benefit plans traditionally have been offered by hotels, restaurant chains and other lower-wage industries, Jost said, "but this may be spreading."
The central planners miscalculate.