Your employees will ask you about how reform’s going to impact their health coverage. Here are some answers you can give them now:
When will changes start?
First off, your health plan doesn’t have to change much. The law “grandfathers” existing employer plans. Your plan just has to conform to a few mandates that take effect this September, like:
- plans that offer dependent coverage must extend that coverage to children up to 26 years old — even if they’re married, and
- insurers will be prohibited from denying dependents under 19 coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
Between 2011 and 2014, regulators will lay the rest of the groundwork for the main parts of the overhaul.
Am I going to have to pay more?
Employees with higher incomes will pay for part of the reform law’s coverage expansions.
For example, in 2013 individuals making more than $200,000 a year and couples earning more than $250,000 will see their Medicare payroll taxes increase from 1.45% to 2.35%.
Also beginning in 2013, certain income from interest and stock dividends will be taxed at a higher rate for those with higher incomes.
Starting in 2011, limits will be placed on what’s covered by flex account dollars. For example: Over-the-counter meds will no longer be covered without a prescription.
Will I have to change doctors?
This will primarily depend on whether your company switches providers — and which physicians are in that new provider’s network.
Nothing in the reform law says that a physician will have to continue seeing existing patients, but many say they’ll continue to do so as long as they can afford to provide the care.