Many Americans still have pressing questions about the details behind President Obama’s health care law. It’s a complicated law with a lot of information. Some of the aspects are pretty much well-known such as the individual mandate and the rule that says people with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health insurance coverage. But did you know there are many other parts to the bill that are not known and are not fully understood? Bill Murphy from INC.com has come up with some interesting aspects of health care law that may just surprise you.
There has been a lot of buzz over how health care law will affect small businesses, but you may be surprised to hear that very small businesses with less than 50 employees are exempt from the provisions in the health care bill. This is good news for very small business owners struggling to make ends meet. You may not know this fact given all of the media hype over how small businesses may suffer.
Another provision that has recently earned some attention was not fully understood for a long time. As of August 1, the law offered eight preventative health benefits aimed towards women. Health insurance plans are required to offer free contraception, breast-feeding supplies, routine check-ups for breast and pelvic exams, Pap smears, prenatal care, STD testing, and counseling for those affected by domestic abuse. It’s way more involved than many Americans realize. It’s not just about contraception as the media may want you to believe. Along these lines, the workplace must provide a breast-feeding friendly environment to all of their employees.
Another interesting aspect of the law is how the transition from job to job will be made a little easier. This partly depends on what state you live in, but obtaining health insurance while you are in between jobs should be easier. And for employers, they should have a smoother time recruiting other employees to leave their job and come work for them.
Pop culture is being affected by health care reform as well. There is now a 10% tax on all indoor tanning salons in an effort to curb usage which has become more and more popular thanks in part to the popular series, The Jersey Shore on MTV. Another effect of the law is that chain restaurants throughout the United States will be required to place how many calories are in each item on their menus. They are already implementing a similar system in New York City and now it will be nationwide.
The final interesting fact that I’ll talk about is the individual mandate that is being placed on Americans. Most people understand this rule to say you must carry health insurance at any given time or face a penalty. And that is the gist of it, upsetting a good chunk of the nation. The penalty, or as they are now calling it, “the tax”, is questionably low and critics argue it’s not steep enough to encourage anyone to carry health insurance for mandate purposes. The tax is linked to the individual’s income and starts as low as $95. Will this enforce all Americans to run out and obtain health insurance, which is somewhat necessary to make health care reform actually work? Only time will tell, but there is a lot of skepticism at this time.
Written by Sam Tabes
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Tags: health care reform, health insurance for small businesses, health insurance plans, individual health insurance, maternity health insurance