Health Care Act: Navigating Obamacare
"Small groups would affect those under 50 employees," he says. "In reality, these big increases are affecting folks who aren't covered under the health care law. It's kind of an unintended consequence.
"Medical inflation is typically more than double regular inflation; our members commonly report 7 percent to 9 percent health care premium increases," he adds. "That's going to have an impact, particularly on that 2018 requirement for Cadillac plans, super deluxe plans (with a threshold of $10,500 for individuals and $27,000 for families). Those thresholds increase by CPI; they're indexed to inflation, but not medical inflation. By 2020-2021, a lot more companies/plans out there are going to get hit by the Cadillac tax."
Those firms hovering near the 50-employee range that do not currently offer coverage need to be cautious. Businesses are allowed to measure any continuous six-month period to determine their threshold, but only this year. Kyger points out that the use of independent contractors won't fly if they do production work on a printer's plant floor; they would count as employees.
Another person who has been pounding the proverbial pavement to help keep printers abreast of PPACA matters is Jim Cunningham, president of Printing Industries of Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Cunningham ensures there is at least one Obamacare item on the agenda at each board meeting, and at least one speaker (insurance broker, labor law firms) provides a talk. The affiliate also sends out a weekly newsletter with information on PPACA.
Printing Industries of Ohio and Northern Kentucky runs a small, self-insured health care plan for its members, which currently has 500 employees and about 1,500 participants in all. Various seminars also keep members updated on changes and, at press time, the affiliate was creating a PPACA info center on its Website.