HOW OBAMACARE IS REDEFINING THE FULL-TIME WORK WEEK

April 30th, 2013

As of January 2014, ObamaCare may send the traditional forty-hour work week the way of the dinosaurs. While the Bureau of Labor and Statistics defines full-time employment status as more than 35 hours per week, beginning 2014, the definition changes to one who works a minimum of 30 hours per week or 120 hours per month.

Suddenly the notion of job-sharing is in our faces. The Wall Street Journal says it’s already happening at fast-food restaurants.

Moreover, employers suddenly must come up with a way to deal with the magic number of 50 employees or face penalties.

Take a closer look

An article in Forbes (Tim Worstall) suggests the incentivizing of part-time jobs under ObamaCare. At first blush, the idea of more opportunities for temporary, contract and part-time workers seems appealing, but the trickle-down effect of the new definition is costly.

If businesses with 50 or less employees have workers that work more than 30 hours, they will face a fine that could be several times higher than their annual profit depending on the employer’s provisions for employee health insurance.

It is a conundrum that makes employers think twice about offering health care benefits, or at least promotes a notion of cost-sharing.

Also, it could be argued that if two workers replace one full-time worker, would the amount paid for the job remain unchanged? Wouldn’t the unemployment figure be skewed as well?

Since 2009, when Obama was sworn into office, The Washington Examiner reports that Americans with full-time jobs fell by 370,000. By contrast, part time employment rose 1.5 million.

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PPACA is not going away soon, if at all. ObamaCare is the largest body of legislation on health care since 1965’s enactment of Medicare or Medicaid.

We have always believed that giving you a place at the table is a great way to satisfy the high caliber candidates and successful businesses we serve. It is why we are involved in our communities and why we keep abreast of news and views that impact you.

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OBAMACARE AND HEALTH CARE EXCHANGES

April 23rd, 2013

Health Care Exchanges, also called Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOPs), are a cornerstone of the (PPACA) or ObamaCare. SHOPs expected to be formed in October 2013 and functional by January, 2014.

What is a SHOP?

It is a system to purchase health insurance for individuals who are not eligible through their employer, who don’t receive coverage through a government plan, or for small businesses to purchase competitively priced insurance plans for their employees.

Ideally, a SHOP will offer consumer-friendly benefit packages at competitive prices. Levels of coverage include bronze, silver, gold and platinum, each with a rising price tier. Private insurance is obligated to offer at least a silver and gold tier.

Intending transparency, and as a clearinghouse of consumer health information, the SHOPs are also expected to better monitor insurance accountability.

What might this mean for you?

While PPACA mandates exchanges to be regulated at the state level, the way they are created seems ambiguous. Individual states may form their own exchanges for which they are granted access to government subsidies. More than 25 states have opted out of managing an exchange due to incomplete information on how they would work or because of high costs, leaving the federal government to step in to manage it. There are simply too many questions and few firm answers.

Further, because of the lack of clarity on the legislation, glitches and loopholes arise. Lack of clarity leans toward delays in processing of information and claims, for starters.

Many employees will be covered under their employer or through the exchange utilizing subsidies, but coverage for their families may come into question. What is being called the ObamaCare Glitch may result in employee dependents being locked out of affordable health care. In fact, it is expected to affect as many as 500,000 children, especially those with special needs.

Regard also the myth of the stabilized health insurance premium. The New York Times reports that the unclear language involving SHOPs is allowing health insurance premiums to soar, sometimes in double digits, in many states where regulators do not have the authority to lower or deny rates. Florida and Ohio insurers raised rates nearly 20 percent for some policy holders.

Olympic Staffing Services monitors what is important to you

ObamaCare is the largest body of legislation on health care since 1965’s enactment of Medicare or Medicaid. Are you prepared?

We have always believed that giving you a place at the table is a great way to satisfy the high caliber
candidates and successful businesses we serve. It is why we are involved in our communities and why we keep abreast of news and views that impact you.

Subscribe to our blog. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.

IF OBAMACARE WAS DESIGNED TO BE AFFORDABLE, WHY DOES IT COST SO MUCH?

April 16th, 2013

March 2010, by a vote of 219 to 212, The House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), coupled with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. No Republicans voted for it and 34 Democrats voted against it.

ObamaCare, as the laws are coined, will be completely phased in by January 2016. The laws were intended to reduce the number of Americans without health care coverage and to reduce overall costs of health care insurance.

Goals were to be reached by eliminating requirements for pre-existing conditions and lifetime limits for health insurance coverage, making health insurance affordable and easier to obtain through Health Care Exchanges, providing insurance subsidies, and extending coverage for young adults.

Has the federal government decreed a health care plan with too costly results?

When Obama campaigned for president in 2008, he promised his health reform plan would bring down premiums “by $2500 for the typical family” by end of his first term.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects Obamacare will only slightly alter the federal deficit over the coming decade. In a February 2013 report, Real Clear Politics, Ben Domenech reports the CBO believes ObamaCare “will be more expensive than the Obama administration thought, disrupt the marketplace more than they thought, and be tougher to implement than they thought.”

Health care reform is expected to cost $940 billion over the coming decade, but it appears this estimation should be much higher. Where will these monies come from? We are paying for ObamaCare with increased taxes, penalties and decreased benefits.

9 realities about ObamaCare and costs

  1. PPACA includes a 2.3% tax on gross sales of medical devices, which is expected to raise approximately $29 billion within 10 years.
  2.  A health insurance tax of $100 billion (Forbes) will result in increased premiums
  3. Included is a mandated tax on branded prescription drugs based on the drug manufacturer’s total share of the market.
  4. Individual Flexible Spending Accounts will be reduced by half, from $5000 to $2500. This cap will directly affect parents and special needs children.
  5. The percentage of medical deductions allowed shoots from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of adjusted gross income.
  6. Investment income incurs a 3.5 percent surtax.
  7. Americans without health coverage will pay a 1 percent tax in 2014, and a 2.5 percent tax in 2016, that adjusts over the term with inflation.
  8. The law eliminates a tax deduction for employer-provided retirement prescription drug coverage coordinating with Medicare Part D
  9. Companies with more than 50 employees would be required to pay a fee of $2000 per employee if they fail to provide coverage.

Olympic Staffing Services monitors what is important to you

ObamaCare is not going away. As the largest body of legislation on health care since 1965’s enactment of Medicare or Medicaid, we should expect to learn what we can to be prepared.

We have always believed that giving you a place at the table is a great way to satisfy the high caliber candidates and successful businesses we serve. It is why we are involved in our communities and why we keep abreast of news and views that impact you.

Subscribe to our blog. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.