Posts Tagged - ‘subsidies’

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Hawaii Pays Half Of Health Insurance Premiums For Small Businesses

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Image: JoshBerglund19 under CC 3.0

Here’s a new way to encourage job creation: pay a large part of new hires’ health insurance premiums. Hawaii is doing that, largely through funding received from the healthcare reform law.

Small business owners believe that Hawaii Premium Plus is a program that will allow them to afford hiring more workers, since they will spend less in total on group health insurance coverage. Governor Linda Lingle touts it as a strategy for reducing the state’s unemployment rate by one percent. However, some skeptics are unsure if slightly under $11 billion is sufficient funding for such a program.

For each new hire between May 1st, 2010 and April 30, 2011, the program will reimburse employers $1,680 per year. Companies with under 50 employees are eligible, though the program may be expanded if it fails to meet the cap of 6,450. It is intended to increase the number of legal residents who are both employed and have Hawaii health insurance.

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4 Facts About Abortion and Health Insurance Reform

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Image: Francis Storr under CC 3.0

Although abortion is currently legal, it is a very controversial issue. Therefore, it played a role in healthcare reform. There have been many proposals, but what does the bill actually say about it?

  1. In the newly created affordable health insurance exchange markets, federal funds cannot be used for elective abortions–considered as those in any case other than rape, incest, or protecting the life of the woman.
  2. States must use generally accepted accounting principles to separate the public funds they receive for subsidies from private premiums paid by individuals; only the latter can go towards the procedure.
  3. States are allowed to forbid health insurance plans that participate in their exchanges from offering abortion coverage.
  4. If your current health plan covers abortion services, the law won’t change that. You will not have to pay for it out-of-pocket in that case.
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