Thursday, March 13, 2014

Consumers who opt not to enroll in health insurance plans to face growing penalties

As Americans continue to get a grasp on the Affordable Care Act amid cancelled policies, mandate changes and shopping through the Marketplace, many of them are opting not to enroll in healthcare plans in 2014 and pay a $95 penalty for not having health insurance.

While Jennifer Richardson, marketing and outreach coordinator for the Athens Neighborhood Health Center, understands why some people want to wait to enroll in healthcare policies this year, she warns residents not to make paying the penalties a yearly habit as it could end up costing them hundreds of dollars.

“The penalty is minimal this year to give people extra time to sign up for health insurance, but if you continue to prolong it it’s going to cost you a lot of money that you could have used to pay toward a premium for health coverage,” Richardson said.

Deadline to sign up for a healthcare is March 31. Anyone who has not signed up for health coverage by then will be charged a penalty.

The penalty in 2014 will be calculated one of two ways and the consumer will pay whichever amount is higher, Richardson said. Either 1 percent of the annual household income or $95 per person for the year. If there is a child in the home under the age of 18 the penalty will be $47.50 for that child.
The penalties increase next year to 2 percent of the yearly household income or $325 per person. The penalty for children will be $162.50.

Another increase, 2.5 percent of annual household income or $695 per person, is expected for 2016.
The spike in the penalty each year is to encourage people to sign up for health insurance instead of going without and just paying a fee, Richardson said.

Read the full article HERE

Friday, March 7, 2014

CMS report: 11 million small business workers could see

CMS report: 11 million small business workers could see

higher premiums under health law

Published on February 26, 2014 at 7:11 AM

Nearly two-thirds of small businesses will see their health insurance premiums increase under the ACA, according to

a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report. Democrats counter that the report ignores subsidies for


The Wall Street Journal

: Rising Premiums May Hit Small Firms

A federal actuarial report predicts that 65 percent of small businesses will see their health-insurance premiums

increase under part of the Affordable Care Act. The report, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Office of the Actuary, is the latest piece of bad news for the president's signature domestic achievement. While the

law was designed to curb rising health costs, some consumers have seen their premiums or other out-of-pocket

costs increase this year, or had their plans canceled altogether (Corbett Dooren, 2/24).


: Republicans Pounce On Obamacare Report; Democrats Cry Foul

Republicans are seizing on a new report in which the Obama administration itself concludes that the President's

signature health care law would raise premiums for roughly two-thirds of small companies. But Democrats point out

that Republicans designed and ordered the report, which they say ignores billions of dollars in subsidies that will

decrease those premiums (Desjardins, 2/24).

The Associated Press/Washington Post

: Premiums May Rise For 11 Million Workers: Report

The estimate is far from certain, partly because many small businesses renewed their policies in 2013. Renewing

before the end of the year allowed them to avoid higher premiums that went into effect Jan. 1, when coverage was

required to conform to the law (2/24).

Fox News

: Obamacare May Increase Premiums For 11 Million Workers, Report Says

Republicans renewed their fight against Obamacare on Monday in response to a new report in which the Centers for

Medicare & Medicaid Services concludes that 11 million small business employees may see their premiums rise

under the law. The report, released Friday, says the higher rates are partly due to the health law's requirement that

premiums can no longer be based on a person's age. That has sent premiums higher for younger workers, and lower

for older ones (2/25).

Politico Pro

: Small-Business Health Premiums May Rise, Report Says

A new report by the Obama administration estimates that health insurance premiums of 11 million small-business

employees will tick up under the federal health care law, handing Republicans another potent talking point about

how Obamacare is inflicting damage on workers. The report also found that premiums are expected to fall for the

other 6 million small-business employees and that the impact on premiums in large employer health plans will be

"negligible." The report examining the law's key market reform rules was mandated by the Budget Control Act and

was quietly released late Friday, about two years late, Republicans noted (Norman, 2/24).

Meanwhile, larger companies are reporting effects of the law.

The Wall Street Journal

: Health Law Already Has Impact On Bottom Lines

The Affordable Care Act's impact on the bottom line is starting to ripple across corporate America. More than 80

public companies told investors the new health care rules were, or could be, a financial boost or drag on their

quarterly earnings, though they were often uncertain of the magnitude, according to a Wall Street Journal search of

earnings-call transcripts for the most recent quarter provided by FactSet (Knox, 2/24).