The Senate Will Soon Vote on Reversing a Critical Part of Obamacare

Group employment expert explains upcoming vote on H.R. 3798 and why it’s a shame that more Americans aren’t aware of this crucial bill

ACAThe Senate could vote this week on a bill which would take apart a good deal of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, including a key piece of legislation which required employers to offer health insurance to all employees who work 30 hours or more per week.

“The average American doesn’t know too much about H.R. 3798, and that’s a shame, because I can’t think of a vote which would have a larger impact on employees’ pay and their workdays,” says Rob Wilson, group employment expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment-solutions firm which helps companies of all sizes to run more effectively.

Wilson says that H.R. 3798 will reverse President Obama’s prior legislation which required all full-time employees to be offered health insurance…and, then defined full-time employment as workers who put in 30-hours a week.

“Many people in the industry were surprised with the thirty-hour-a-week legislation,” says Wilson. “Forty-hours-a-week has always been considered full-time in American businesses of all industries, so it seemed a bit arbitrary. Unfortunately, it also had a negative impact on employees. Employers slashed workers’ hours to keep them under the 30-hour mark and avoid paying for their health insurance, meaning that these workers had to supplement their pay by getting another job. In essence, many employees wound up working 2 nearly full-time jobs, and still without company-provided health insurance.”

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Study: Employees in the Dark About Their Healthcare Plans

Group employment expert explains new study and how it costs employers big-time

Insurance ConfusionA recent study found that 25 percent of employees do not understand the basics of their healthcare plan, while 32 percent are further confused by their plan’s additional benefits. And, 67 percent say that they are given little to no advanced preparation when it comes to choosing new plans.

“These findings line up with what I have heard from many of my prospects, especially in recent months,” says Rob Wilson, group health employment expert and President of Employco USA. “With President Trump’s new alterations to the Affordable Care Act, many people are confused about their coverage and their requirements for coverage. For example, some people think that President Trump removed the penalty for Americans who do not have insurance, however, this relief actually does not come into effect until 2019, so people can still face financial punishment if they are not covered.”

Wilson says that employees are not the only ones who suffer when they are in the dark about healthcare coverage. “Employers will suffer as well if their employees make uninformed healthcare decisions,” says Wilson. “This includes employees who choose the wrong healthcare plan, employees who neglect to appropriately use their benefits, employees who erroneously have adult children on their healthcare plan, etc.”

For the group employment expert, education is one of the most important steps when it comes to making sure that a company’s healthcare costs are as trimmed and streamlined as possible.

“It’s important to have representatives from your chosen health insurance provider come to your office on a regular basis in order to talk to new employees as well as refresh the minds of older employees, especially as so many changes are afoot in this industry,” says Wilson. “I would also advise employers to regularly send out emails with information about their plans, but more importantly, also snail mail. An informative packet in the mail which an employee can hold in their hands and share with their family to help discuss options and compare benefits will be invaluable.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Why Blue Cross is Slashing the Cost of Premiums Across the United States

Group employment expert explains what employers and employees need to know about the future pricing of the group health plan

Slashing PremiumsBlue Cross Blue Shield is proposing premium cuts in many states across America for 2019, with some states seeing as much as a 5% decrease or more. However, there could be more to this story than meets the eye.

“Blue Cross is cutting prices now because they over-estimated how much they needed to hike their premiums last year,” explains Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and group employment expert. “They set the rates too high, which is understandable as there was so much uncertainty over the fate of the Affordable Care Act and how President Trump would alter Obamacare. But, now that we have a clearer picture of the fate of the Affordable Care Act, Blue Cross can go back to rectify their initial over-estimation.”

Wilson says that, regardless of the cause, a decrease in premiums is nearly unheard of, and a hopeful sign of things to come.

“Blue Cross has not reduced the cost of their premiums in years,” says Wilson. “For example, in Illinois, my home state, premiums have been going up every year, in some cases even jumping up by 17 percent such as in 2015. So, for people of Illinois to finally see price decreases is simply unprecedented.”

Wilson says even the states in which Blue Cross Blue Shield is proposing premium increases don’t have to fear. “Not every state is going to see a decrease in Blue Cross Blue Shield premiums in 2019, and some may even see an increase, but this increase will be very slight.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Rob Wilson on Business for Breakfast: Why So Many Americans Are Still Opting out of Health Insurance

Rob Wilson discusses why so many Americans are going without health insurance on a segment of Business for Breakfast (Money Radio).

Read more on this topic here:
http://www.employco.com/blog/2018/03/26/many-americans-still-opting-health-insurance/

Contact us with any questions you may have, we’re here to help: hr@employco.com

Why So Many Americans Are Still Opting out of Health Insurance

Group health insurance expert explains why so many Americans are going without health insurance

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to bring healthcare to millions of Americans who could not afford it, but critics say that the healthcare law was a failure. In fact, many Americans are still choosing not to purchase healthcare, including those who are considered middle-class.

“Surprisingly as it might sound,  it isn’t people with low-wage jobs who can’t afford to buy healthcare in our current market,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and group health insurance expert. “Due to President Obama’s changes to healthcare law, healthy people and middle-class people suddenly found themselves looking at a steep uptick in prices, and not every family can stand to foot that bill.”

While it is true that the Affordable Care Act helped to lower health insurance costs for people in the lower-income brackets, the result is that other people, such as those in middle-class income brackets, have had to pick up the slack.

“We are looking at big premium increases right now,” says Wilson. “And all it takes is a difference of $10 an hour to find yourself no longer eligible for the federal subsidy to cover healthcare costs.”

Wilson says that the reality is that buying your own individual health plans as a middle class individual or family is becoming too exorbitant, and this won’t change until ACA has been rolled back even further.

“Right now, the health insurance companies have all the power, and we need to put that power back in the hands of the consumer,” says Wilson.

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

The Truth About Health Insurance Penalty Within the American Health Care Act

Group health insurance expert weighs in

The American Health Care Act is President Trump’s answer to President Obama’s hotly-debated Affordable Care Act. While many political experts are excited about the new plan, others wonder if the proposed penalty is similar in nature to the dreaded Obamacare penalties, which many complained laid an undue financial hardship on those least able to foot the bill.

Rob Wilson, group health insurance expert and President of Employco USA, says, “President Trump’s plan is exciting for employers for many reasons, including the removal of the taxes, the mandate penalties and the subsidies that were a cornerstone of Obamacare. As for the new proposed penalty, it only applies to anyone who opts to go without insurance for longer than 63 days and then desires to resume coverage.”

The purpose of this penalty, Wilson explains, is to keep people from dropping in out and of the market. However, it also allows for healthy individuals to opt not to buy a healthcare plan if they so desire.

“Part of the problem with Obamacare was that it forced people to buy coverage even when they did not need it or use it,” says Wilson. “Under President Trump’s plan, people can opt to buy insurance only when they actually need it. Even if a person were to take a penalty for not buying insurance and retaining it, it would still amount to less under The American Health Care Act than Affordable Care Act, so Americans still save big.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Rising Healthcare Costs

New Survey Reveals that Middle-Class Families Must Choose Healthcare Over Food, Clothes

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Healthcare trends expert discusses these disturbing findings

Recent numbers show that middle-class families have increased their spending on healthcare by 25 percent since 2007. As these expenditures have increased, families have tightened their belt in other areas—with spending dropping on essentials such as food and clothing.

“These numbers are very disturbing,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and healthcare trends expert. “The Affordable Care Act was supposed to offer healthcare savings for Americans across the board, but instead it seems that middle-class families have been the hardest hit by our unstable economy.”

Wilson says that many Americans are reporting that their premiums are now so high that they cannot afford to go to the doctor. “With Obamacare, Americans are now facing deductibles of $3,000 a year or more,” he says. “Meanwhile, other Americans are losing their insurance as companies are forced to shut down as a result of the Affordable Care Act—not to mention, the amount of jobs that are going to be lost due to these company shutdowns.”

Wilson continues, “The whole point of President Obama’s plan was so that people would not have to choose between a doctor’s visit and paying for groceries. But now, thanks to these high premiums, we are right back in that same situation.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Federal Reserve Announces Plans to Leave Interest Rate Unchanged

Employment expert available to comment on what motivated this decision

The Federal Reserve just announced that it plans to leave the interest rate unchanged. Many believe that this is because the country’s slow economic growth has challenged the policy-makers’ confidence.

Rob Wilson, employment expert and CEO of Employco USA, says, “The Federal Reserve opted not to change the interest rate due to unreliable low unemployment numbers and slow wage growth.”

Wilson also believes that the Affordable Care Act played a large part in this decision.

“Due to the Affordable Care Act, employers have been slow to hire, and some have even been forced to let employees go or slash staff hours. Pending changes to the overtime laws also has employers worried, along with general anxiety over the economy as a whole.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Confusion Runs Rampant as Millions Pay Obamacare Penalty

7.5 million Americans were required to pay a penalty last year due to not having health insurance. This is a higher number than the government predicted, and many worry it is a sign that the country is not prepared for Obamacare.

Rob Wilson, CEO of Employco USA, says “The Affordable Care Act is causing issues across the board. Not only did the IRS collect $1.5 billion dollars in penalty fees from hardworking Americans, but many people also were confused about filling about their tax forms. Taxpayers who paid a penalty to the IRS should have claimed an exemption on their tax forms, but thousands and thousands did not, simply because they were not informed. As a result, they overpaid the government on their taxes.”

Additionally, about five million Americans claimed no health insurance status on their forms, leaving the government struggling to find out how to categorize these folks. “We don’t know how millions of Americans in this country are able to pay for healthcare, or if they are receiving healthcare. It’s scary business.”

Why “Obamanomics” is Bad for Business

From new minimum wage rulings to proposed overtime changes to the Affordable Care Act, President Obama has made significant changes in the way companies in this country can do business. According to Rob Wilson, employment expert and CEO of Employco USA, “Obamanomics” could spell disaster for many employers.

“It started with Obamacare,” explains Wilson. “Since many companies couldn’t afford to offer their staff health insurance, they slashed employees’ hours and made them part-time instead of full-time, thereby forcing Americans to cobble together multiple part-time jobs in order to make ends meet. Now, companies face another issue: Overtime.”

Currently, the Obama administration is proposing changes to overtime regulations, changes which would offer more employees the chance to earn this extra income. However, not everyone thinks this is such a good plan.

Wilson says, “Economists don’t think the proposed plan is tenable in the long-term. Overtime wages are projected to be $1.3 billion. The FICA taxes associated with the OT wages alone is roughly $200 million (employer and employee combined). Plus, many people fear that employers will simply dump employees rather than face the prospect of paying multiple people overtime. Others will decrease their employees’ salaries in order not to lose money as a result of all the overtime they will have to pay. It’s a lose-lose for everyone.”