Health insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act could cost the country money
The Congressional Budget Office has released a new report concerning the delay of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Early in July, the Obama administration decided that a number of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act would be delayed in order to allow businesses to better prepare for the financial implications of the federal law. The delayed provisions are focused on small businesses, requiring them to provide health insurance coverage to full-time workers. Small businesses will not have to comply with this provision until 2015, a year after it was initially meant to go active.
Delay to cost $12 billion and leave 1 million without insurance
According to the report from the Congressional Budget Office, the delay of this specific provision could have a major financial impact. The report suggests that the delay will cost the country approximately $12 billion and could leave more than one million consumers without health insurance coverage for an entire year. Because the provision has been delayed, small businesses will not be required to offer health insurance benefits to workers, thereby leaving many of these people without coverage. The report suggests that approximately half of the people that will not receive coverage from their employer will seek it out through state-based insurance exchanges.
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Small businesses receive reprieve from financial burden
The financial impact of the delay is related to penalty payments that many small businesses were expected to be responsible for their failure to provide health insurance coverage to employees. These businesses were set to pay these penalties in 2014, but the delay provides them with a year reprieve from this financial burden. It also provides businesses with more time to find health insurance plans that would be suitable for their needs and those of their employees.
Government continues to push health insurance exchanges
The Congressional Budget Office does not expect many of the country’s large employers to drop health insurance benefits for their workers. The Affordable Care Act has been receiving harsh criticism for the impact it will have on small businesses. The Obama administration has been involved in marketing the health insurance exchanges linked to the federal law in an effort to inform consumers of the coverage options they will have in the near future.