October 11, 2013

Obamacare Ageism

One of the little quirks of Obamacare is the change in plan structure for small businesses.  For the coming year, the change affects employers with two to fifty employees, then in a year or so (barring a repeal or restructure miracle) employers with 50-100 workers will be affected.

If you know just the basics about group health, you are probably aware of 'composite' plans, those plans that take into account the general demographics of your company's employees and set a rate based on that information.  Employers with more than 100 employees will continue to have their risk assessed, and plan rates assigned, based on a composite risk.

Small employers are switched to a rate system that is based on each individual's age.  No more single rate for employee coverage, or employee + spouse, or employee + family.  Each employee, and any dependents, all have an individual price according to their age at time of plan renewal.  Our company got a look at what Blue Cross Blue Shield's rates for our company will be under this plan:

So, youngish people, with kids under 18 enjoy low rates.  A couple in their mid-20's with three (or more) children have a lower total per month premium cost than a 54-year old covering themself and a similarly aged spouse.  Sounds great for young people, huh?

Having seen the number, and magnitude, of companies that have slashed their full time work force and stopped offering health care to those working less than 30 hours, is there any doubt that the next major movement caused by Obamacare will be blatant and widespread age discrimination?

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