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Healthcare renewal season – how much more coverage is actually going to cost you:
Bottom Line: Coming into the healthcare renewal season the estimate for the additional cost of the essentially same healthcare coverage was 7-11%. Now that we’re wrapping up the renewal season here’s what we know:
I’ll sound like a broken record on my consumer marketplace message but it’s really the only way to solve this problem (if we ever will). We have to become better consumers of healthcare. We’re great consumers when comparison shopping on everything else in life. It needs to happen with healthcare.
We should be paying for all regular medical car out of pocket (regular doctor visits, most prescriptions, etc.) with insurance just picking up the extraordinary (major medical needs, drugs). Just as we do with automotive or home insurance. The comparison shopping would create pricing pressure and competition in the medical establishment that would reduce net cost and lower insurance liability and use.
Otherwise – for those that wanted the Affordable Care Act… You’ve got what you wanted – no complaints.
Planned layoffs spike post election:
Bottom Line: Elections have consequences. We know that to be true. This election was a tipping point for many companies that have either been bogged down by regulation or those that we’re hoping for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The economic consideration of election outcomes. The result less than a week later has been acute.
The stock market immediately reacted with its worst day of the year and further negativity on Thursday. Countless companies announced layoffs totaling 10,000 of thousands of new planned layoffs (some of which are included in the link below). Perhaps the most consistent theme is among small businesses with near 50 employees.
It’s been widely known that the “magic” number at which companies fall under the full regulation of the Affordable Care Act – is 50. As a result I’ve had two companies tell me they won’t hire to get to 50 (one is at 48 and the other 49). Last Wednesday another company told me that they intended to expand next year but decided to cancel those plans (they’re at 42 employees). Some have gone even further…
One company on Friday informed me that they laid off 5 employees already to get them fewer than 50 because they couldn’t afford the mandates of the healthcare law. And yet another that is a public company informed me they had two sets of budgets for next year. One for each election outcome. The one they are moving forward with includes hundreds of layoffs.
So now what… I met with an expert source yesterday who informed me that the
I still need to verify the info I’m going to share with you but the source it came from is very credible I was informed that in an effort to prevent companies from using contract employees and part timers (in lieu of full time employees to keep them under 50) there would be other measures factored into the mandates. One of which would take all part time hours worked by your employees and divide by 120 hrs per month (or about 40 hour work week for one employee). That would mean that two 20 hour per week employees would equal one full time employee in the eyes of the Feds. It also appears that they are going to review the previous twelve months worth of activity as well.
It looks like it’s possible that you could have fewer than 50 employees and still get caught with the full impact of the Affordable Care Act. Before you make significant decisions based on the law I’d seek clarity on these potentials pitfalls with your accountant or attorney.
Would you pay to never have to view an online ad again?:
The option is now yours. A company has created a device that plugs into your modem and screens online ads out so you won’t come across them online. So are you interested? If so is it worth $120 to you?
The product exists but will only be available for sale if they can pre-book more than $150,000 in orders by December 8th. If they can’t they won’t move forward with the product. Right now they have just over $20,000 in pre-orders. For more information click the link below:
YouTube already cutting a majority of its uniquely created programming:
Is it possible that YouTube and others (like perhaps Glenn Beck) were/are too far ahead of the curve? There are so many different ways for you to view video content… I do believe that streaming video content will be the norm eventually (and even then it remains to be seen how many different video content providers will be viable) but we’re not there yet.
YouTube which spent the spring and summer building Channels with uniquely created content are suddenly ending 60% of them. Maybe this was always part of the plan for YouTube but it also seems like a quick hook for a new concept.