Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ObamaCare Begins to Fill in The Cracks As to Who Is Covered

To get lost or to be forgotten or to not be noticed.

Idiom, Fall Through the Cracks

The government is beginning to fill in the cracks in the health law.

Crack One, Proving One is Eligible was widely criticized for being too loose for defining who was eligible for subsidies. Of those who enrolled, 87% received subsidies. But critics said eligibility depended too much on the word of the enrollee rather than on records. Now the Obama administration is asking for proof of citizenship, immigration status, and income. If enrollees are unable to do so, they will be dropped from the health exchanges rolls. By September 30, some 300,000 are expected to lose their eligibility and their health plans (Abby Goodnough, “Over 300,000 Must Prove Eligibility or Lose Health Care,” New York Times, Aug. 12).

Crack Two, Proving One is an "Employer"

Until now, most criticism of health law provisions has been directed at the provision that says businesses with 50 or more employees must provide coverage. But what of those small businesses with less than 50 employees, the overwhelming majority of American small businesses. According to new guidelines, “employers” are defined as having at least 2 full-time employees, not including a spouse, to qualify for group plans. Yet 78% of America’ 28 million small businesses have not employees at all. These small businesses must now seek individual coverage rather than group coverage, and individual coverage has much higher premiums and deductibles. This new guideline especially hits sole proprietors . The Small Business Association in Michigan, which has 4000 members recently had to kick 700 sole proprietors off its plan. (Angus Loten, “Small Firms Hit by Big Changes in Health Coverage,” Wall Street Journal, Aug.6).

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