A Pennsylvania furniture manufacturing company owned by a Mennonite family has had its request for an exemption from providing certain contraceptives required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act denied. This decision runs counter to the Hobby Lobby decision we wrote about last week. It’s almost assured that the final decision will rest with the United States Supreme Court.
Yesterday we mentioned a Wall Street Journal article which stated that economists were not overly worried that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would prompt employers to slash the hours of their part-time employees. That line of thinking runs contrary to what we are seeing from our clients and elsewhere around the nation. Today, the Washington Post has a story up about how Virginia is capping the hours of its part-time workers. The state is honest about the reasoning – the cost of healthcare is too high to immediately bring on over 10,000 new subscribers. Companies that slash hours could find the quality of their talent pool dip, but maybe avoiding the cost is worth the risk. Our clients are all over the board on their strategies.
Having the employer mandate pushed back by a year means that Americans will have one less avenue with which to purchase health insurance. And if the exchanges are not ready in all 50 states, things are going to get real interesting, especially if the individual mandate is still in place.
News came out over the weekend of another victory by Hobby Lobby in their battle not to be required to provide certain forms of birth control. In June, they won the ability to challenge the healthcare law, and on Friday they won a temporary injunction from the federal penalties that come with not complying with the law. They judge stayed the case until October to give the federal government time to consider filing an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. This is an interesting case and one to keep an eye one.
Welcome to the official blog of Employee Benefit Strategies Group, BlogEBSG. There is a lot of uncertainty in the health insurance industry, especially in the group market, and with this blog we intend to keep employers up-to-date with news and notes to help them manage their health and welfare benefit plans as effectively as possible.
In addition, we plan to have our own postings about the current group health insurance environment.
Please feel free to comment. We look forward to hearing from you.