Even though the ACA mandates that small companies with more than 50 employees offer health insurance, few workers are taking their employers up on the offer.
The government mandated Affordable Care Act is still not working for so many low income workers. Businesses with under fifty employees are required by the federal government to offer health insurance for their employees. Those that don’t face strict and high penalties and fines. Even though most small companies are complying, there seems to be few takers among the general populace of employees.
Many small business owners themselves simply can’t afford to offer the health insurance for their workers, according to The New York Times. Because of this, many smaller businesses are reducing their work forces and cutting worker’s hours in an effort to get under the fifty or more full time emplyees limit. Businesses that have mostly low wage earners, those working for minimum wage or slightly above, are the most affected by the government mandate.
Despite the broadening of Medicaid and state exchanges, many workers are still being left out in the cold. For those surviving on minimum wages, it is simply a matter of monthly economics. They simply can’t afford the additional expense every month to get health insurance. Many workers are still falling through the cracks despite employer assistance.
For an individual, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan may run around $4,800 a year. Some employers are willing to cover as much as 65 percent of such coverage. Even then, it is still $140 a month that few low wage earners can possibly come up with and not have to sacrifice food or gas to get to work to do it. Many are just visiting sliding scale health clinics in their areas and getting prescriptions filled at WalMart for $4 or $6.
There are those, too, who are simply getting coverage from a spouse or partner’s plan where they work but that, too, is not the rule. According to research done at payroll processing company ADP, people making only between $15,000-$20,000 are year are only taking the employer insurance in 37 percent of the cases.
And, to add insult to injury for those who are already struggling, the Internal Revenue Service just tacks on a $95 fine for those workers who have no health care coverage.