ObamaCare- Universal Studios Orlando drops insurance for part-timers
ObamaCare will change the landscape of Health Care in America
Universal Studios Orlando announced they will be dropping health care coverage for many of their part-time workers starting in 2014 due to the federal health care overhaul that is coming under ObamaCare. What is likely to be just the first in a long line of companies to do the same, Universal Studios announced the cost will be too great to maintain its insurance coverage.
Why did they make the move? Universal claims it is because of the federal law changes which will eliminate the restrictions for limits for insurance policies. Historically, payouts were capped, and as a result the premiums could be kept low. Under the current health care plan workers pay $18 per week and their hospital benefits are limited to $5,000 each year. With the limits being phased out, companies like Universal Orlando can no longer keep those policies.
The good news is that many employees will not be affected by the decision. The spokesman for the company, Tom Schroder, stressed that Universal cares about their employees and they want to offer affordable medical insurance. Unfortunately, it may no longer be possible under the current laws. Schroder stressed, "This particular issue affects about 3 percent of our 17,000 team members, and we're going to continue to work towards a solution."
Critics of Universal claim the company was too quick to drop the coverage without analyzing additional options for coverage. Other companies, which have made similar changes, claim the costs to comply with the federal laws could increase premiums by more than 66% and result in higher increases in deductibles.
What is ObamaCare?
ObamaCare is the unofficial name for the Affordable Care Act which was passed in 2010 to overhaul the nations health insurance. The goal of the Affordable Care Act, with its exhausting 2,000 pages of reforms, is to reduce healthcare costs and provide affordable health insurance to all Americans. With the implementation of ObamaCare the hope is that the 44 million Americans who were not able to get health insurance will now have insurance through an expansion of both Medicaid, Medicare and insurance subsidies.
What are the main provisions of ObamaCare?
Unfortunately, the law seems to have been passed without a clear understanding of what it contained but the basic provisions include:
- Allowing Employers with over 50 employees the choice between providing insurance that meets the standards of ObamaCare or paying a penalty.
- Employers with less than 25 employees may qualify for tax credits, tax breaks and other assistance for insuring employees.
- Requires all Americans to have health insurance either through a private provider or through a state or federal assisted program. If you don't have insurance you must pay a tax equal to 1% of your income in 2014 and 2.5% in 2016.
- Does not allow Americans to opt out of health insurance.
- Gives Americans the option to be covered regardless of income or preexisting conditions and prevents insurance companies from dropping their insurance when they are sick.
Although we are still one year from the implementation of many of ObamaCares provisions we have begun to see more companies threaten to drop insurance coverage provided by the employer. Other employers have begun limiting the number of employees to maintain less than 50 employees. Another fear is that the cost has been severely under reported and the savings has been exaggerated. Get ready it could be a bumpy ride.