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Alphastaff Provides Clarification on Health Exchanges

HR Outsourcer gives guidance on Affordable Care Act initiatives.

Fort Lauderdale, FL, December 22, 2011 -- With additional provisions of the Affordable Care Act becoming a reality, AlphaStaff Group, Inc. (“AlphaStaff”), one of the nation’s largest professional employer organizations (PEO), provides additional understanding on Health Insurance Exchanges and additional Affordable Care Act initiatives.

Designed to make buying health coverage easier and more affordable, Health Insurance Exchanges will allow individuals and small businesses to compare health plans, get answers to questions, find out if they are eligible for tax credits for private insurance and enroll in a health plan that meets their needs. The exchanges will be open to individuals and employers with 100 or fewer employees however states may limit participation before 2017 to employers with 50 or less employees. In 2017 states can make these exchanges available to large employers.

In 2014, individuals and small business will be able to purchase private health insurance through state-based exchanges. These exchanges, for most states, are new entities that will function as a marketplace for buyers of health insurance, giving them choices for health coverage. They will offer a variety of federally certified health plans and provide information and educational services to help individuals understand their options. The Act gives states the option to establish one or more state or regional exchanges, partner with the federal government to run the exchange, or to merge with other state exchanges. If a state chooses not to create an exchange, the federal government will set up the exchange in the state.

In addition to the creation of Exchanges, the Affordable Care Act also provides for other changes to the private insurance market. For many, these programs may offer solutions to accessibility and affordability challenges:

* Pre-existing exclusions are prohibited for children less than 19 years of age. And, in 2014, under the healthcare reform laws, insurers or health plans may not impose any pre-existing condition limitations to plans or coverage.

* The young adult program now allows parents to add or keep children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. Before health care reform, insurance companies could remove enrolled children usually at age 19 or once they were no longer full-time students. By allowing children to stay on a parent's plan, the law makes it easier and more affordable for young adults to get health insurance coverage. Children can join or remain on a parent’s health plan even if they are married, not living at home, attending school, not financially dependent on their parents or eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan. There is one temporary exception. Until 2014, “grandfathered” group plans do not have to offer dependent coverage up to age 26 if a young adult is eligible for group coverage outside their parent’s plan.

One controversial component of the Act that begins in 2014 is the "individual mandate." The individual mandate is a requirement that all individuals who can afford healthcare insurance purchase some minimally comprehensive policy. Many Americans believe the requirement to have health insurance is unconstitutional. Opponents to the Act argue that Congress lacks the power to impose such a requirement, while the Obama Administration maintains that it does have the power under its constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce, levy taxes and enact any "necessary and proper" laws. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding healthcare reform beginning March 26, 2012. This is being billed as a historical case for the federal government since the outcome may define the limits of federal power for decades to come.

Before employers can comfortably address the new law, the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies will need to continue providing guidance and clarity around the statutory rules through the issuance of regulations, notices and other public forums. Additional technical correction legislation may also be required. What the final bill means to private and public employers, multiemployer health and welfare plans, small businesses and others will be challenged and analyzed in the months and years ahead.

For more information about AlphaStaff, their suite of services or the Affordable Care Act, visit www.AlphaStaff.com.

About AlphaStaff
AlphaStaff Group, Inc., a full range of human resource outsourcing (HRO), delivers services to small and medium sized businesses and mid-market companies through a shared employment model. The company specializes in helping companies save money, time and free up administrative resources while reducing risk and ensuring compliance. Unlike other Professional Employment Organizations (PEO) or HRO providers, AlphaStaff has a unique, coordinated delivery approach as they work exclusively with insurance broker partners to distribute services. AlphaStaff’s experienced HR professionals deliver personal and flexible service to more than 1,300 client companies in the U.S. For more information, visit www.alphastaff.com.  
 
 

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  • Name:

    Company:

    Telphone: -- , -

    Address: Kristy Kennedy
    rbb Public Relations
    AlphaStaff Group, Inc.
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    305-448-5839
    Kristy.Kennedy@rbbpr.com
    http://www.alphastaff.com

    Email: