United States: “Skinny” Plans Under PPACA: Are They a Solution?



We already understand that, after January 1, 2015, employers with the equivalent of 50 or more full-time workers to provide health insurance or else pay a $2,000 per employee fine.  We know that “full-time” means 30 or more hours per week over a measurement period.  But in the midst of discussion about who has to offer and who will get coverage, the question has arisen about what coverage will actually have to be offered by a large employer.  The concept of “skinny” plans has started to emerge as a possible option for large employers looking to keep coverage costs lower.

Skinny plans are essentially an outgrowth of “mini-med” plans that are set to be phased out.  Mini-meds offered very limited coverage, but they also were very affordable.  Some companies offered mini-meds to their part-time employees as an option to provide at least some coverage when they were not eligible for the plans offered to full-time employees.  The theory is that, unlike the exchange plans, large-employer plans that are sponsored by an employer do not have to cover the 10 categories of services in the health care law’s essential health benefits.  Thus, they are less expensive, but they provide a lower benefit that an exchange plan.  Click Here for Full Story…


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