Health­care Re­peal & Em­ployer In­surance

The HR Digest - - HR Drift -

Six­teenth cen­tury Ital­ian physi­cian Bernar­dini Ra­mazz­ini is cred­ited for cre­at­ing the first writ­ten ac­count of the health prob­lems on work­ers (oc­cu­pa­tional dis­eases). He pro­posed the pos­si­bil­i­ties of tak­ing pre­ven­tive mea­sures to im­prove em­ployee well-be­ing – and coined the phrase “oc­cu­pa­tional dis­eases.” Half a cen­tury af­ter Ra­mazz­ini’s death, the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion brought with it many oc­cu­pa­tional dis­eases and in­juries due to the way work was re­for­mu­lated and sys­tem­atized.

Un­til the ad­vent of Em­ployee As­sis­tance Pro­grams (EAPS) in 1950s, work­place well­ness was gen­er­ally an af­ter­thought for or­ga­ni­za­tions. By the ‘90s, com­pany started of­fer­ing well­ness in­ter­ven­tions pri­mar­ily fo­cused on al­co­holism and men­tal health is­sues in the form of cash or re­duced in­surance pre­mi­ums.

But, times have changed and the 2017 ‘re­peal and re­place’ means most Amer­i­cans could lose their in­surance cov­er­age if the bill passes. Un­der the pro­posed Amer­i­can Health Care Act, peo­ple can’t be dis­crim­i­nated against for hav­ing a pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tion.

The story you’re about to read is a stereo­typ­i­cal one: Twenty seven year-old Ju­lianne Stone had an early-stage melanoma in 2015, caught early enough that it was just a sim­ple surgery to re­move it. It was about a month from di­ag­no­sis to get­ting it re­moved and hav­ing clean pathol­ogy re­sults. But that month means that she has a pre­ex­ist­ing con­di­tion. Ju­lianne Stone has em­ployer health in­surance now,

but know­ing that she is go­ing to lose all ben­e­fits from the ACA, and los­ing her job, she may have a prob­lem.

Em­ploy­ers with more than 50 em­ploy­ees no longer have to pro­vide in­surance. So be­ing cov­ered through a hus­band’s work may no longer with pro­vided. More­over, the new bill will in­cen­tivize all Amer­i­cans to have con­tin­u­ous cov­er­age, which will fur­ther pre­vent peo­ple from only buy­ing in­surance when af­ter they are sick or in­jured.

Un­der the new bill, hav­ing a lapse in the cov­er­age greater than 63 days means they would face a penalty equal to 30 per­cent of pre­mi­ums. How­ever, the penalty would be lower than the ad­di­tional pre­mium in­sur­ers would charge to in­di­vid­u­als if they were able to dis­crim­i­nate based on health state.

Con­sider that fact that on av­er­age peo­ple are un­em­ployed for about 8 to 10 weeks be­fore they find a new job. That’s about 56 to 70 days. And when peo­ple are un­em­ployed, just get­ting by pay­ing bills and mort­gage can be dif­fi­cult, let alone pay­ing in­surance pre­mium.

Here’s to hop­ing the fi­nal re­place­ment with be a gift to Ju­lianne Stone and the rest of Amer­ica.

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