health care reform
After January 1st, when "community rating" kicks in for individuals and small groups under 50, claims will not be considered to determine health premiums. Only two factors will be allowed to change the premiums offered by a plan to individuals and small groups under 50 in the same geographic area: age and smoking status. The premium increase due to age will be limited to a 3 to 1 ratio.
Hobby Lobby's challenge to the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act received new life as the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the district court's denial of injunctive relief from the fines and penalties Hobby Lobby may face for refusing to enforced the new rule.
The Affordable Care Act requires "applicable large employers" (ie, employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees) to offer "minimum essential coverage" (MEC) to its employees. If the employer does not offer the required coverage, it will be subject to a $2000 per year penalty if any one of its employees obtains a premium credit to purchase health insurance through a health exchange after January 2014.