As the country prepares for implementation of
the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a recent poll examined different age groups,
including young adults. The poll showed that a large majority of Americans want, and value, health insurance. Among the public overall, 87 % say it is “very
important” to them personally, 88% describe health insurance as “something I
need,” and 68% say insurance is worth the cost. This includes young adults, who
say health insurance is very important to them and that cost remains the biggest
barrier. Many young adults want health insurance, but struggle from
unemployment, employers not offering insurance, or getting coverage is just too expensive. With
the ACA coming into effect, more opportunities will be opened for young adults
to obtain affordable coverage. Large employers are required to offer coverage
to their full-time employees and tax credits are available for individuals
based off their gross income. Sweeney & Sweeney hopes the Affordable Care
Act will give people of all ages a peace of mind. We are aware of the struggles
and the cost restraints it brings to many people, which is why we are here to
help you through it
Many small business owners might be going in to panic mode as the new year gets closer. Sweeney & Sweeney Insurance wants you to know we are here to help you through this big transition. In this article we have outlined some key points that you as an owner need to start thinking about now. Below are some questions you can ask yourself to help you make the best choice for your business.
- Do I have to offer coverage to my employees? If you have 50 or more
full-time employees, you are required to offer affordable coverage to your
- How many of my employees are considered full-time? According to the
ACA regulations, full-time employees are 30 or more hours per week. If you are
anywhere near 50 employees you need to be very clear who is considered a
full-time or part-time equivalent. This can be a very confusing process, but
Sweeney & Sweeney has trained professionals to help you walk through these
- What coverage classification should I choose for my employees? The
coverage’s will be tiered as, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Be sure to
balance the best offerings with a plan your employees can afford (May not
exceed 9.5% of the employee’s gross income).
- Will I offer coverage for dependents? This is a tricky concept and
you need to be extremely careful. Choose the best balance that your employee’s
family can afford. If a dependent is offered affordable coverage through an
employer they may NOT go to the individual exchange and receive a subsidy. If you
decide to offer employee only coverage, then their dependents can go to the
individual exchange to receive a subsidy. It is very important to balance what
is best for your employees and we recommend speaking to a health care
professional about this.
- Should I handle these decisions on my own? It is highly recommended
to choose an Agency who is Health Care Reform certified to walk you through these
extremely important steps to insure your employees are getting the best deal
and to avoid any penalties to your business. Sweeney & Sweeney Insurance is
here to help. Give us a call for more information!
What To Expect in 2014!
Many of you are probably wondering what will change about your health insurance plans come January 2014. To get started, all Individual and Family Health Plans will disappear on January 1, 2014. If you have a Grand-Fathered plan that has been active and unchanged prior to March 23, 2010, then you are exempt from this requirement. The rest of us will be required to find a new plan that meets the required “Essential Health Benefits” law. Provided below is an image to show how the plans will be tiered.
You are now probably wondering what the plans must include
as “Essential Health Benefits”, as defined by the Health Care Reform.
Specifically, the plans must include these 10 categories of care:
- Ambulance Services
- Emergency Services
- Maternity and Newborn Care
- Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Treatment
- Prescription Drugs
- Rehabilitative and Habilitative Services
- Laboratory Services
- Preventive and Wellness Services
We are very excited to share with our community that
Sweeney & Sweeney will be offering health coverage inside and outside the
Exchange. Open Enrollment begins October 2013 and goes through March 2014.
Please be aware that this is the ONLY time you can obtain health coverage, and you must enroll by December 15, 2013 to have a January 1 start date for coverage. Call us for further information and stayed tuned for more to come! We still have appointments open for December!