Monday, May 24. 2010
A third of employers may be subject to fines for not offering affordable health insurance plans to full-time employees, according to a study of almost 3,000 employers conducted by Mercer.
Under the Affordable Health Care Act, employers must offer full-time employees insurance that is less than 9.5 percent of their household income or pay a penalty. Starting in 2014, an employer will be punished with a fine of $3,000 for each employee that has to turn to the health insurance exchange for coverage.
"Only 8 percent say they would seriously consider making no or minimal changes to increase the number of eligible employees and instead pay the required penalty," said the Mercer report. "Some (16 percent) say they will strongly consider adding a lower-cost plan for these newly eligible employees rather than adding them to an existing plan for full-time employees."
Less than 10 percent of survey respondents said that they would rather pay a fine than make changes to the number of eligible staff members.
Most elements of the Health Care Act won't be in effect until 2014, but the bill has already made some changes. Currently, small companies can receive tax credits for offering health insurance to their employees.
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