Interestingly, the Supreme Court upheld, in full (apparently) Health Care Reform. Which, in a way, is good for our justice system, since 2/3 of Americans oppose the law according to most studies. They did not yield to public opinion, or the on-going rhetoric. It is a political-driven decision after all, as everyone knew from the beginning it would be a 5-4 vote- 4 Justices on the conservative side, and 4 on the liberal side- pretty much predetermined the vote, if not the outcome.
I admit to surprise that the Court determined that the Federal Government can mandate we buy something, even if it is for our own good. But I am not a Justice, nor a constitutional scholar, and that is the basis for any decisions such as this. It is appearing, in what I am reading and hearing this morning, that the mandate ruling is based on technical issues in the law.
And my personal opinion – that the law is poorly written, the supposed funding mechanisms will fail, and I am still unclear on how the government can force me to buy something- just doesn’t really matter.
So now we move forward – MANY many changes will be coming. Regular updates on what we have to do next are in order, but here are a few things you will need to think about in the next few months:
– Pre-existing conditions should be a thing of the past in 18 months
– Your waiting period has to be no longer than 90 days. You may/will not be allowed to have a better health plan for one class of employees.
– Larger firms (50+ employees) will be required to provide coverage for all full time employees, or pay a penalty/tax. Employers with less than 25 employees may qualify for a federal tax credit, if you pay at least 50% of the premiums.
– Premiums will go up, not down, over the next 5 years as additional taxes take affect on health insurance companies, employers, and high-value health plans.
– CO-OP health plans will happen in 2013. Exchanges will start in 2014.
– Flexible spending accounts will be limited to $2500 starting in 2013
Much more to follow…