Health Insurance is Available From Several Sources
Dan Levenson December 11, 2019
Being without health insurance in today’s medical marketplace is playing with fire, you are almost guaranteed to eventually get burned. While the penalty for being uninsured has been removed from the law, the financial devastation that can happen in a medical emergency is actually a much bigger concern.
Employer-Sponsored (Group) Health Insurance
As of 2017, approximately 49%, or over 156 million people, in the US get their health insurance through their employer (KFF). This number has been climbing steadily since 2010. Clearly, businesses, both large and small, play a major role in protecting the health and financial security of the population by offering group health coverage to their employees. Offering health insurance to employees for businesses with under 50 employees is still optional, but as you can see from the numbers, there are plenty of companies offering coverage, so this could sway an employee’s choices when looking for employment.
Based on the current law, companies with over 50 employees must offer health insurance coverage to their employees that conform to the Affordable Care Act provisions. When choosing employers, benefits – especially health benefits, has always been a major tipping point. Regardless of the size of your company, there are several very good options available that will keep you in contention when searching for quality employees.
As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), government health insurance exchanges were created. The availability and structure of these healthcare programs vary from state to state but are tied into the federal law that oversees them. The cloudy future of the ACA makes the fate of the over 11 million people enrolled as of 2019, somewhat unclear. The penalty for not being insured has been removed, so that may account for some of the dips in the early enrollments for the 2020 program (932,000 as compared to 1.1 million in 2018)(PBS).
The premiums for the exchanges remain relatively high for those who do not qualify for subsidies, even if some reports show a small decrease over the previous year’s premiums. The underlying theme seems to be that there is an air of uncertainty for those forced into the exchanges and that this uncertainty will continue while ongoing court battles about the constitutionality of the ACA rage on. If the ACA is declared unconstitutional and dismantled completely, there is currently no safety net in place for the 11+ million enrollees in the exchanges.
Medicare’s purpose was to provide for health care for the aging portion of the population. Medicare is generally available to those 65 or older (earlier if you are disabled). As the decades since it’s inception have passed, the Medicare law and rules have been changed, tweaked and further complicated by several factors. The astronomical increases in health care costs are far exceeding the revenue available to the program to pay for its obligations. In fact, according to estimates by the Trump administration, the Medicare fund will be insolvent in just six years; by 2026 the program will be insolvent (ChicagoTimes).
Contributions to the Medicare HI fund(aka Part A) are made by payroll taxes, specifically that FICA tax that far too many of us don’t understand – employees and employers split the 2.9% tax evenly. Medicare is a pay as you go system, where today’s taxpayers are paying for the healthcare of today’s Medicare retirees; this is not a recipe for financial success.
It is evident that in today’s healthcare climate, for good or bad, private insurance seems to be the most stable way to ensure that people receive the best healthcare available. So far the two prevalent government-run programs are both floundering, one in the courtroom and the other at the hands of the payroll tax income. In order to navigate the ever-increasing complex maze that has become healthcare, you need professional assistance. Please give Insure Your Company.com a call today – we would be happy to assist you.