Selected Benefits, Inc. prides itself on working with self-employed individuals to help them obtain affordable and comprehensive health care coverage. With health care reform on the horizon, many of our clients are concerned that the new laws will affect them adversely. To allay those fears, here are five ways health care reform can help the self-employed:
- More extensive coverage for individuals with Pre-Existing Conditions: Many people have forgone health insurance coverage because they have or have had illness or complications that insurance companies classify as “pre-existing conditions”. These individuals will all be guaranteed to be approved for health insurance when health care reform begins in 2014. However, to bridge the gap between now and then, the government is subsidizing what they are calling “Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans”. Funding for these plans will end in 2014 you may learn more about what is presently in place at www.pcip.gov.
- No Cost Preventive Care: Health care reform law requires your insurance company to provide some basic, preventive health screenings (such as well woman exams) at no out of pocket cost to the patient. Not wanting to spend money on a co-pay is no longer an excuse for not going to see the doctor. Your health is the most important thing you have – protect it!
- Limits on Lifetime Benefits will End: Many insurance plans used to have a dollar amount where they would max out. This was problematic for individuals with a debilitating or chronic disease that ate up their health care insurance dollars at such a high rate that they were no longer covered for basic health costs. The Affordable Care Act has done away with these lifetime limits and there is no lifetime coverage cap. Patients no longer have to choose between treating illnesses and receiving basic, preventive health care.
- The Health Care Tax Credit for Small Businesses: Many of our clients look forward to expanding their businesses and want to provide health insurance as a benefit for your employees. If your business is incorporated or registered as an LLC, you may be eligible to receive tax credits under the Health Care Tax Credit portion of the Affordable Care Act. This legislation applies to businesses with 25 or fewer employees who offer those employees health care insurance by providing a tax credit of up to 35% of the cost of employee premiums. These tax incentives are currently in place and are scheduled to be expanded in 2014.
- Rebates on Health Insurance: This provision of the Affordable Care Act has been in effect since 2011. It effectively requires insurance companies to spend 80-85% of member premium dollars directly on member medical expenses. The insurance company may spend the remaining 15-20% of premium dollars on administrative costs and to realize profits. Insurance plans that do not meet these “medical loss ratio” (MLR) criteria are required to issue rebates to policyholders. Rebates are already being issued and all rebates from 2011 will are to be paid by August 1, 2012.
To learn more about any of these provisions or how we may help you with your health care insurance needs, please contact us at 866.270.6209 or visit us at Selected Benefits!