Get ready for the biggest change to benefits in decades. The Senate’s healthcare reform bill is now law — and here’s a brief look at some ways it’ll change how companies provide coverage.
Five major changes The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is making to the benefits world:
- Employers with 50 or more employees will now be required to provide affordable health insurance or pay a penalty of up to $3,000 per worker (those figures assume the package of changes the House sent to the Senate in a companion bill is accepted).
- A 40% excise tax will be imposed on employers that provide high-end insurance coverage. Companies with plans that have premiums of $10,200 or more for singles and $27,500 for families will be subjected to the tax, which will take effect in 2018.
- Children will be allowed to stay on their parents’ policies until they turn 26.
- Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to individuals with preexisting health conditions.
- Lifetime limits on health coverage will be eliminated.
Millions more to be covered
President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday in front of a crowd of hundreds of Democratic lawmakers.
It’s expected to extend coverage to 32 million people over the next decade.
Currently about 82% of U.S. resident have some form of health insurance, and that number’s expected to climb to 95% by 2019.
How much is reform expected to cost? $940 billion over the next 10 years.
More to come
And the fight’s not over yet for lawmakers in Washington.
Republicans are vowing to repeal the bill, and Congress is expected to take on the companion bill in the coming days in a procedure known as reconciliation.
We’ll keep you posted as the companion bill works its way through Congress.
Info: For more info on what’s in the reform bill and how it passed, click here.
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