Retiree Health Plans Not Covered By Health Law; Some Small Businesses Get Tax Credits
News outlets covered the expansion of health insurance, but also the fine print in the new law.
The Wall Street Journal: Glenn Franco is a retired worker who wanted to enroll his 24-year-old daughter in his health plan. But it turns out she was ineligible for the benefits of a provision of the new health law that allows children up to age 26 to be in their parent plans. Retiree health plans are exempt from the provision, as well as the broader law. "A retiree health plan is one that provides coverage until age 65, after which it either phases out or acts as a supplement to Medicare. While the health-care overhaul doesn't cover retiree-only plans, it does cover retirees with individual policies, as well as health plans that include both employees and retirees" Among the retirees affected are those in state and federal government plans and those for military families and unions (Schultze and Silver-Greenburg, 9/10).
MedPage Today/ABC News: "More than 12 million of the nation's 15 million uninsured young adults ages 19 to 29 may be able to get health insurance in 2014 as a result of the healthcare reform law, according to a report released Friday by the Commonwealth Fund. The number of uninsured young adults rose from 13.7 million in 2008 to 14.8 million in 2009. In addition, 5 million insured 20-somethings have very high out-of-pocket costs, leaving them effectively underinsured, the authors noted" (Frieden, 10/10).
The Seattle Times: "Some people grouse about health costs and wonder why the federal health overhaul hasn't offered much relief, but Frank Albanese, owner of Local Color cafe in Pike Place Market, isn't one of them." His business -- and employees -- will benefit from tax credits as part of the overhaul and a new state-run, federally-funded program. "The Health Insurance Partnership (HIP) - the new program that's helping more small businesses insure their employees - is available to those with 50 or fewer employees, at least half of whom are low wage (that means pay of no more than $10.40 an hour or $1,805 a month). Coverage begins Jan. 1" (Ostrom, 10/10).
The (Memphis, Tenn.) Commercial Appeal: "Tennesseans will save $2.7 billion on health care insurance when health care reform is in place in 2014, according to a new study. That total will come as an estimated 664,100 Tennesseans will be eligible for premium tax credits, the study says. The credits will be available from the federal government to people and families who make up to four times the national poverty level, up to $43,320 for an individual and up to $88,200 for a family of four. The amount of the credit will be based on income" (Sells, 10/10).
Kaiser Health News: "A new model of care encouraged by the health law accountable care organizations has set off a feeding frenzy among industry groups intent on getting a slice of the action, or protecting their own financial interests. Besides the usual suspects groups representing physicians, hospitals and insurers' [a Baltimore meeting with federal regulators last week] attracted medical device makers, employers and labor unions, nurse practitioners and pharmacists, all of whom want to ensure that ACOs expand their business and influence" (Galewitz and Gold, 10/10).