Shop ‘Till You Drop (Health Care Marketplaces)
What a summer so far. The Obama administration has delayed application of the employer mandate under Health Care Reform for another year – to 2015. [Coincidental that this moves implementation of the employer penalty beyond the 2014 mid-term elections? Probably not.] Will a delay in Health Care Reform’s individual mandate (i.e., that everyone have insurance beginning in 2014 or pay a penalty to the IRS) be far behind? For sure, the rest of 2013 will be historic, with inauguration of Health Care Reform’s marketplaces, publication of premiums for marketplace products, and commencement of open enrollment in those products. Thank goodness for “navigators”, the government funded program whereby qualified applicants, after 20 hours of online training, will assist individuals with navigating/evaluating the coverage options and any premium assistance available through the marketplaces. Employers too have a new Health Care Reform navigation tool — the just-launched HHS “one-stop shop” website aimed at providing employers of all sizes with educational materials. It’s worth checking out for general orientation and guidance. Happy dog days.