Some employers are avoiding Obamacare penalties by offering “skinny” insurance plans that provide workers with minimum coverage like preventive care but little else, including benefits to help cover hospitals stays.
The minimum coverage qualifies as acceptable under the new healthcare reform law, so benefit advisers and insurance brokers are pitching minimum plans nationally, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Employers who offer the plans are recognizing they can avoid a $2,000-per-worker penalty by doing so, even though the plans often don’t cover basics like surgery, X-rays or prenatal care, let alone hospitalization.
The employers could still face other penalties, but they expect them to cost less than the $2,000 per worker fine for opting out of Obamacare. As a result, the Journal reported, more companies are seeking minimum coverage plans helping to create what amounts to a new industry of basic insurance brokers and benefit administrators pushing the plans to clients.
Some of the low-benefit plans will cost employers only between $40 and $100 per employee monthly, quite a savings over the $2,000 fine, the Journal noted.