Healthcare Reform: Let Your Mind Wander
Although a large portion of our current healthcare system is financed by employer-provided insurance, I am not sure why. It seems that businesses fell into this responsibility. As more businesses started offering bigger and better benefits packages to recruit highly qualified workers, more employers felt the pressure to offer similar enticements to compete for the best and brightest employees. Over time, the expectation grew that employers would offer health insurance.
What if businesses ceased their role as the keepers of our nation’s healthcare program? In fact, some commentators believe that could happen. Under the recently signed healthcare reform bill, it may be less expensive for employers to drop insurance and pay the $2,000 penalty per employee, rather than provide insurance to employees.* Let’s use our imaginations and consider the following outcomes:
1. Employees would be forced to use the insurance purchasing exchanges.
2. Employers would eliminate the administrative and financial burden of providing healthcare benefits. The savings could be used to hire more people or invest in equipment and research and development.
Whether you love or hate the new healthcare reform bill, I think this scenario warrants some thought. If your company didn’t have to provide health insurance, how would it use the newfound dollars? If your employees were confident that the healthcare exchanges provided solid coverage, would they accept elimination of your company’s healthcare coverage?
Share your thoughts by in the “Comments” box below. I look forward to hearing from you.
* According to Congressional Budget Office analysis, employer sponsored insurance coverage will still account for 61 percent of the healthcare marketplace in 2019.