Self-Insurance: Business Savior or Obamacare Nightmare?
The Affordable Care Act’s complex nature has forced a great number of American companies to carefully consider the affordability of insurance. In its quest to make health care accessible and reform the health care system, the Affordable Care Act made it so insurers could deny no individual coverage, regardless of his or her health history. For many businesses, that clause meant an opportunity to mitigate the rising cost of providing employees coverage.
As written, the Affordable Care Act requires any company with more than 50 full-time workers to provide those employees with “affordable” health care. Business with fewer full-time workers do not have to comply with the employer mandate, but they may participate in the small business health options program, in which employers of 50 or fewer workers can purchase employee insurance if they choose.
Before the health care reform law was implemented, many businesses already offered employer sponsored coverage. Among those firms with 50 or more employees, nearly 95 percent provided health insurance, while businesses with 50 or fewer employers currently provide health insurance to approximately 17 million Americans. While those numbers indicate employer-sponsored health insurance coverage will remain static as the implementation of Obamacare progresses, it increasingly seems as though that will not be the case.