If you’re a business manager or owner that offers health insurance to employees you may think you’re safe from the worst of Obamacare. Well, besides the rising premiums. But you may not be. Chances are you only know what you pay your employees, but not their household income. If the employees’ share of the cost of health insurance is more than 9.5% of their household income you could be hit with fines, er, I mean, new taxes.
As National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Director, Federal Public Policy Amanda Austin explains:
“Under the employer mandate provision, there is something called the affordability standard or otherwise known as the ‘mini firewall.’ Employers that are offering coverage and think they are not affected by the employer mandate should think again.
“This firewall allows employees to jump from their employer plan [to the new exchanges] if they pay more than 9.5% of their total household income for their share of the premium. Typically employers do not have access to what employees’ total household income looks like and therein lays the madness.”
Obamacare creates uncertainty about carriers’ participation rate requirements (usually 75%), which could affect group coverage if too many employees drop out. Both employers and employees will each face the potential of penalties if they do not secure creditable coverage.
Thus, employers may resort to snooping on their employees to find out if this is a threat, NFIB’s Austin warns…