Healthcare Repeal & Employer Insurance
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.