Health Law’s Impact on Employer Coverage

But “no one’s jumping to be at the head of that line,” she says. Employers’ commitment to offering health coverage over the long haul, however, has dropped in the past few years. And the exchanges may speed employers’ retreat from retiree medical coverage, since they’ll offer a viable alternative for those not yet eligible for Medicare. Some employers will likely convert the subsidy they currently contribute to retiree coverage into individual accounts, such as health reimbursement arrangements, that provide retirees a fixed pot of money to help cover medical expenses. I work part time. How will I be affected? The economic downturn has already boosted employers’ reliance on part-time workers, while whittling away at those employees’ workplace health coverage. About 22% of workers were part time in 2011, up from 17% in 2007, according to EBRI. Health coverage of part-time workers, however, dropped about 16% over that period, versus a 2.8% decline for full-time workers. To avoid penalties in 2015, larger employers must cover employees who work at least 30 hours per week. So a 32-hour-per-week uninsured part-timer may suddenly find that he’s eligible for his employer’s health plan.

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