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DanaT 10-10-2013 07:30

Cancelling Employees Healthcare
 
This week has been bad news for me from my HR Director.

She has been dealing with the fallout from Obamacare.

So a little background. Most of the company's employees are in Germany but also German so this doesnt affect them. However the portion of the company in the USA is considered a small business.

Although Obama promised that we could keep our insurance and doctors, it seems that BCBS seemed to think otherwise and sent us the letter last month that our insurance plan was cancelled.

So, the company was forced into the insurance exchange for the USA employees. Well, it seems there are some "catches". First catch, no employee who makes over $50K is eligible for anything over the "bronze" (lowest level) of insurance. For this level, insurance has went from $600/month with BCBS (with a decent plan) to $1400 for almost no coverage.

So, now we are working with an insurance broker to find us something. His recommendations: drop all health coverage for employees. We are exempt from penalties for FY2014 and they will be small for FY2015. After that, he said it is cheaper to pay the penalties than offer insurance.

We had the idea of increasing salary by $600 a month to allow them to purchase the same amount we were paying for last year. The broker recommended against this because then FICA, unemployment, workers comp, etc are all tied to this.

Basically, the advice that we were given is that he would find individual plans for the upper people and then if the employees want the insurance they can pay for that or go on the individual health exchange.

Basically, we are being told as a business to tell the employees "screw you" and worry about this yourself.

All of our tax/insurance advisers are telling us to have all employees under $50K as part time (29 hours and under) and then offer no insurance. Anyone making under $25/hr they are saying should have hours cut by 11hrs/week with no possibility of overtime. We are being told it is cheaper to hire extra part time people.

Over $50K it doesnt seem to matter because that is the "threshold" where the business/individual cant avoid being screwed.

This is just amazing..

series1811 10-10-2013 07:36

I'm amazed that so many people who voted for Obama and supported Obamacare didn't see this coming.

How dumb can you be?

Cubdriver 10-10-2013 07:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by series1811 (Post 20679926)
I'm amazed that so many people who voted for Obama and supported Obamacare didn't see this coming.

How dumb can you be?

He got voted in again, didn't he? :faint: Obviously a lot of people can be more dumb than we give them credit for...

-Pat

Flying-Dutchman 10-10-2013 07:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by series1811 (Post 20679926)
I'm amazed that so many people who voted for Obama and supported Obamacare didn't see this coming.

How dumb can you be?

They were told healthcare would be free.

Pelosi said free health insurance would allow you to become an artist.

DanaT 10-10-2013 07:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flying-Dutchman (Post 20679957)
They were told healthcare would be free.

Pelosi said free health insurance would allow you to become an artist.

But think about it. They didnt lie. It will be a free for the company. We are cancelling their insurance and in effect lowering their pay.

Its just not free for employees...

captainstormy 10-10-2013 08:05

I'm not surprised at all, but so many people are for some reason.

Currently in 2013 I have very good coverage. I get Health, Prescription, Vision and Dental with great coverage (100% Preventative, most other things covered at 60-80%, prescriptions never cost me more than 20) and for all of it I pay less than 100 a month for just myself.

I just got married this year, but if I had added my wife (who has her own, pretty good but not as good insurance) the cost per month would have been 250 per month.

For 2014, all either of our companies are offering are HSA (Health Savings Accounts). Which IMO are terrible. It's pretty much just putting money into a savings account to pay the doctors, the only advantage over doing it yourself is that it's pretax income going in instead of post tax. Granted there is a max out of pocket (of like 6 grand) so the most you'll ever have to spend in a year is 6K. Course the government only allows you to put 3300 into the account per year.

I've been trying to see what's available on the exchange out of curiosity but they can't even keep the website running.

zodiacbw 10-10-2013 08:07

I'm reminded of the saying, "Government, if you think the problems we create are bad, wait until you hear our solutions."

I'm in a similar boat, got a letter from my insurance company saying at the end of 2014, my rates are going to double. The joys of being young and healthy right?

tehan2 10-10-2013 08:12

The company I work for just switched to a voucher system. I didn't pay much attention because I'm covered under my wife's plan. But the people in the meeting weren't happy AT ALL. and I know of a few guys looking for work just because of the change.

Hope and Change people, Hope, and Change!

Steve0853 10-10-2013 08:16

Don't worry Dana. In a few short years, we'll have single payer. That's what Obamacare was designed to do....be so bad that single payer would appear to be our salvation.

Single payer WILL be free and everyone will love it. Of course, anybody stupid enough to still be working for a living will be taxed at about 80% to pay for it.

Future High School valedictorians will probably elect to be engineers or mathematicians, anything besides doctors, since working for peanuts after 12 years of rigorous schooling, training, and crushing student loans will not be too appealing.

With doctor shortages will come rationing.....like it or lump it. The few dummies still working for a living won't even be able to use their wonderful "free" health care.

captainstormy 10-10-2013 08:21

Nice, just got the results back from the application we put in at the exchange to see if we can find a plan we like better.

We have to prove that my wife, who was born in Ohio and has a SSN which we gave to them is a US citizen.

TX OMFS 10-10-2013 08:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve0853
Single payer WILL be free and everyone will love it. Of course, anybody stupid enough to still be working for a living will be taxed at about 80% to pay for it.

Future High School valedictorians will probably elect to be engineers or mathematicians, anything besides doctors, since working for peanuts after 12 years of rigorous schooling, training, and crushing student loans will not be too appealing.

With doctor shortages will come rationing.....like it or lump it. The few dummies still working for a living won't even be able to use their wonderful "free" health care.

QFT. Remember this when your children and grandchildren face something like leukemia.

ClydeG19 10-10-2013 08:31

Ray Charles could've seen this coming. I'm sure it's the first of many companies. I have a preexisting condition for which the treatment is expensive. I'm praying my employer doesn't do this.

Mr981 10-10-2013 08:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20679974)
But think about it. They didnt lie. It will be a free for the company. We are cancelling their insurance and in effect lowering their pay.

Its just not free for employees...

An Obamacare horror story--to which I'll add another:

My wife's best friend is a tech at a vet clinic;she does'nt get paid
a lot and had her hours cut due to obama car and her minmal
Health care cover provided by her vet has been cancelled.

Now she finds out the gov.plan for her will cost $300/month or
or pay s fine that will be $600/year in 2015.

So, she's lost her coverage, part of her wages and will end
uppaying a fine because she csn't afford obamacare.
BTW--she voted for him.

Jack_Pine 10-10-2013 08:33

Couple of questions:

1. The 5k/bronze connection. Is that getting insurance under the company umbrella? I have a friend that makes well north of that and bought a gold policy in CA. He is self employed, though.

2. I don't think the part time model works for a lot of companies, i.e. non-retail. I can see many taking the penalty and having the employees go to the exchanges.

mgs 10-10-2013 08:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by captainstormy (Post 20680026)
Nice, just got the results back from the application we put in at the exchange to see if we can find a plan we like better.

We have to prove that my wife, who was born in Ohio and has a SSN which we gave to them is a US citizen.

Unlike Barry from CT......screw those bastards! This is going to get real bad real quick.

M2 Carbine 10-10-2013 08:37

Hey you obama voters, how's this "Hope and Change" working out for you, you ******* idiots.


Quote:

With doctor shortages will come rationing.....like it or lump
My doctor of many years (and others around here) have said they will take early retirement before they will practice under obamacare. :steamed:


The least we should do is force obama and the rest of those stinking politicians to have to use obamacare to.
I'm tired of those rat ******** passing laws and exempting themselves from it.



.

arclight610 10-10-2013 08:39

Somehow Obama will spin this on the companies, saying they aren't following the spirit of the law or some BS like that.

md2lgyk 10-10-2013 08:42

Aah, yet another benefit of a military career: I have Medicare, TRICARE, and VA benefits. Zerobama can go screw himself (when he's done screwing you).

WarCry 10-10-2013 08:52

I have a couple of honest questions, I'm not trying to argue, just looking for clarification:


Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20679919)
Although Obama promised that we could keep our insurance and doctors, it seems that BCBS seemed to think otherwise and sent us the letter last month that our insurance plan was cancelled.

What was the reason for the cancellation? BCBS cancelled the policy, not the government, so they had to have given a reason.


Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20679919)
So, the company was forced into the insurance exchange for the USA employees.

Companies don't use the exchanges. The exchanges are for individuals that don't have coverage through their employers, don't qualify for Medicare/Medicaid, and are unable to afford individual, private health insurance. I'm not sure how a company can be "forced" to use something they can't use.


Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20679919)
Well, it seems there are some "catches". First catch, no employee who makes over $50K is eligible for anything over the "bronze" (lowest level) of insurance. For this level, insurance has went from $600/month with BCBS (with a decent plan) to $1400 for almost no coverage.

I'm going to make a guess at something here, but I highly doubt your coverage through BCBS was $600 a month. That might have been the portion YOU were paying, but what was your employer paying? My health insurance (my share plus my employer's share) was well over that, and my employer was BCBS.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20679919)
So, now we are working with an insurance broker to find us something. His recommendations: drop all health coverage for employees. We are exempt from penalties for FY2014 and they will be small for FY2015. After that, he said it is cheaper to pay the penalties than offer insurance.

This is a valid option, but only one that your employer can make. If they decide they'd rather throw you out in the cold and pay the fine, then that's on them.

BTW, the fine for businesses was supposed to be higher than it is so it was a bigger incentive to maintain coverage for employees. The political right didn't like the additional burden on employees and forced changes to lower that penalty (then refused to vote for it anyway). So, for businesses that find this option attractive, that's because businesses were being protected like this when the law was crafted.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20679919)
Over $50K it doesnt seem to matter because that is the "threshold" where the business/individual cant avoid being screwed.

This is just amazing..

So, if you're making over $50,000, it would be an undue burden to purchase health insurance? Even with tax breaks to help cover such a circumstance if the employer isn't providing coverage? Or did no one tell you about those breaks because they want you to find someone to blame other than the employer for deciding to save themselves the headache by leaving you to fend for yourself?



What's amazing to me is that, with all your company is doing to their employees, you're still looking to stand up for them and blame someone else.

WarCry 10-10-2013 08:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2lgyk (Post 20680072)
Aah, yet another benefit of a military career: I have Medicare, TRICARE, and VA benefits. Zerobama can go screw himself (when he's done screwing you).

So your view is "I already have government health insurance, so I don't give a damn about the rest of you!!!"?

Sounds like members of Congress, to me.

DanaT 10-10-2013 09:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack_Pine (Post 20680053)
Couple of questions:

1. The 5k/bronze connection. Is that getting insurance under the company umbrella? I have a friend that makes well north of that and bought a gold policy in CA. He is self employed, though.

2. I don't think the part time model works for a lot of companies, i.e. non-retail. I can see many taking the penalty and having the employees go to the exchanges.

The 50K / bronze has to do with what we must pay as a company and what is offered. The gist of what we are getting is they want everyone making over 50K to subsidize the rest of the plans.

captainstormy 10-10-2013 09:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2lgyk (Post 20680072)
Aah, yet another benefit of a military career: I have Medicare, TRICARE, and VA benefits. Zerobama can go screw himself (when he's done screwing you).

For now.

DanaT 10-10-2013 09:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by WarCry (Post 20680096)
I have a couple of honest questions, I'm not trying to argue, just looking for clarification:




What was the reason for the cancellation? BCBS cancelled the policy, not the government, so they had to have given a reason.

They were not clear on why, they just said that due to changes in the new laws the plan is no longer available in 2014.

They said that we could go from a PPO to an HMO.

How the letter is worded, the new stuff is all HMO.




Quote:

Originally Posted by WarCry (Post 20680096)
Companies don't use the exchanges.

Wrong.

http://connectforhealthco.com/get-started/employers/


"Small businesses and nonprofits know the ability to offer employees quality health insurance is a competitive advantage in the labor market."

Small business is defined in CO as under 1000 employees.



Quote:

Originally Posted by WarCry (Post 20680096)
The exchanges are for individuals that don't have coverage through their employers, don't qualify for Medicare/Medicaid, and are unable to afford individual, private health insurance. I'm not sure how a company can be "forced" to use something they can't use.

And all individual plans have been essentially cancelled. How else do you think they are paying for all of this?





Quote:

Originally Posted by WarCry (Post 20680096)
I'm going to make a guess at something here, but I highly doubt your coverage through BCBS was $600 a month. That might have been the portion YOU were paying, but what was your employer paying? My health insurance (my share plus my employer's share) was well over that, and my employer was BCBS.

No. Sorry. I know every detail of the companies finances very well and I know what we paid per employee.



Quote:

Originally Posted by WarCry (Post 20680096)
This is a valid option, but only one that your employer can make. If they decide they'd rather throw you out in the cold and pay the fine, then that's on them.

I wont get thrown out in cold. The company will compensate me for my insurance. Its the general employees that are taking the hit. And I am still deciding if the lower paid employees will be cut to 29 hours per week.

Quote:

Originally Posted by WarCry (Post 20680096)
BTW, the fine for businesses was supposed to be higher than it is so it was a bigger incentive to maintain coverage for employees. The political right didn't like the additional burden on employees and forced changes to lower that penalty (then refused to vote for it anyway). So, for businesses that find this option attractive, that's because businesses were being protected like this when the law was crafted.

There are still exemption for 2014 and 2015. Just like the fines (taxes) increase each year for private people, the taxes on business are progressive. Until 2016 it is cheaper to pay the fines than offer the coverage.



Quote:

Originally Posted by WarCry (Post 20680096)
So, if you're making over $50,000, it would be an undue burden to purchase health insurance? Even with tax breaks to help cover such a circumstance if the employer isn't providing coverage? Or did no one tell you about those breaks because they want you to find someone to blame other than the employer for deciding to save themselves the headache by leaving you to fend for yourself?

You dont get it. This is the employees heath insurance. I have no problems with my health insurance. There are no tax breaks for health insurance if you make over $50K.





Quote:

Originally Posted by WarCry (Post 20680096)
What's amazing to me is that, with all your company is doing to their employees, you're still looking to stand up for them and blame someone else.

I am not blaming someone else. I am telling you what decisions I am making in cutting benefits and hours.

My pay is heavily based off how much money the company makes. So if I will cut expenses where needed.

kostnerave 10-10-2013 09:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by series1811 (Post 20679926)
I'm amazed that so many people who voted for Obama and supported Obamacare didn't see this coming.

How dumb can you be?

++++++ Hope your happy now.

WarCry 10-10-2013 09:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20680132)
They were not clear on why, they just said that due to changes in the new laws the plan is no longer available in 2014.

They said that we could go from a PPO to an HMO.

How the letter is worded, the new stuff is all HMO.

I think you should contact the insurance company directly, because I'm pretty sure you've got some of that incorrect.

Although, with the below information that you're working with BCBS CO, you may well be onto something. BCBS CO is part of Anthem BCBS, and they are, frankly, a horrible company to work with. Even working for another BCBS franchise, every single one of my co-workers absolutely dreaded having any dealings with any of the Anthem companies.

This is one of the shortcomings in the ACA: for-profit companies like Anthem spent a ton of money to keep out changes to allow interstate competition. Had it been allowed - like car insurance companies - it would have changed the whole playing field, but some companies didn't want to give up their pieces of the pie.


Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20680132)
Wrong.

http://connectforhealthco.com/get-started/employers/


"Small businesses and nonprofits know the ability to offer employees quality health insurance is a competitive advantage in the labor market."

Small business is defined in CO as under 1000 employees.

My apologies (sincerely). I don't know each individual state's set-ups, I was speaking about the way exchanges were planned under the ACA model. If the states have opened it up to small businesses, that's a different hill o' beans.

Any reason they set the number at 1000? Because small business is defined at 50 by the federal law.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20680132)
And all individual plans have been essentially cancelled. How else do you think they are paying for all of this?

Cancelled by whom, and for what reason? I've not heard of any place flat-out cancelling any and all private, individual health insurance plans.


Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20680132)
No. Sorry. I know every detail of the companies finances very well and I know what we paid per employee.

And, as I clearly stated, I said I was guessing. But if, as a company, the plan was only $600/month per employee TOTAL, you were due for a rate increase, at the very least, anyway.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20680132)
I wont get thrown out in cold. The company will compensate me for my insurance. Its the general employees that are taking the hit. And I am still deciding if the lower paid employees will be cut to 29 hours per week.

Ah, so you're on the other side of the equation. You're looking to find ways to save the company money, even if that means cutting hours and benefits to the employees so you don't have to deal with the health insurance.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanaT (Post 20680132)
You dont get it. This is the employees heath insurance. I have no problems with my health insurance. There are no tax breaks for health insurance if you make over $50K.

I am not blaming someone else. I am telling you what decisions I am making in cutting benefits and hours.

My pay is heavily based off how much money the company makes. So if I will cut expenses where needed.


So, you're saying "I got mine, and I'll make sure I continue to get mine, and blame the government for all those under me that I have to strip away from."?


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