Obamacare jolts to employer-based insurance

Health Insurance » Obamacare » Obamacare Jolts To Employer-Based Insurance

'Skinny' plans possible
'Skinny' plans possible © Cindy Hughes/

The ACA requires that private health insurance plans offer a smorgasbord of services, called "essential health benefits," including maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs and preventive care.

But The Wall Street Journal found, and the Obama administration confirmed, that the law allows large employers to offer bare-bones plans that exclude coverage for services such as X-rays and surgery. These skinny plans also might place annual limits on care.

Employers can be penalized, however, if workers say no thanks to skimpy workplace plans and shop for a subsidized alternative through the Obamacare exchanges, Chollet notes.

"Someone will look at (the employer coverage) and say, 'Well, that's not qualified coverage and therefore you're eligible to enroll through the exchange,'" she says. And if that employee were eligible for a tax credit to help pay for health coverage, the employer would be hit with a penalty for offering the subpar plan, she adds.


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