Proposed and final rules issued this spring surprised many by failing to bar large employers from offering insurance policies that could exclude benefits such as hospitalization.
Offering bare-bones policies may result in some fines, but that expense could be less than the cost of offering traditional medical coverage…
[I]f employers don’t offer “comprehensive” policies — defined as covering at least 60 percent of health expenses — they must pay $3,000 for each worker who receives subsidies to buy coverage. Opinions differ on whether skinny plans will be able to pass the comprehensive test; some regulations are still pending. But employers see that potential expense as far lower than the cost of offering all their workers more robust coverage, experts said.
Some businesses are also betting that few workers will go to the government-run marketplaces to seek subsidized coverage, opting instead for the skinny plan “which costs less than the penalty,” said Dania Palanker, senior counsel for the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. (Kaiser Health News)