Insurance official discusses health-care reform in Yuba-Sutter
It's complicated, it's coming and it involves the federal government.
Daniel Kopti, compliance consultant with Wells Fargo Insurance Services, reviewed employer and employee challenges under federal health care reform, also called Obamacare, at a business breakfast Friday in Linda hosted by the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce.
He said the changes that start Jan. 1, 2014, may affect middle managers and executives the most if they don't qualify for a government health insurance policy or federal subsidies available to other employees.
"They will pay a lot of money," he said of insurance costs.
Companies could pay management more to offset the increased costs, the compliance consultant added.
Kopti said he agrees with observers who think the federal government is creating an incentive for employers to end health care plans and have employees instead use insurance exchanges — clearinghouses in each state to provide individual insurance policies.
"I believe that's the case," he said.
The $2,000 and $3,000 yearly penalties for not offering health care coverage are cheaper than providing insurance and will represent a net savings to business, Kopti said.
"Health care reform, from the employer perspective, is a wonderful thing," he said.
About 30 people attended the meeting at the Peach Tree Golf and Country Club.
Wayne Bishop, who owns Bishop's Pumpkin Farm in Wheatland, noted afterward the many uncertainties of federal health-care coverage and complications of the program including how seasonal and part-time employees are calculated.
"I guess the rules are just as confusing as I thought they were," he said.
Craig Starkey, who serves on the Yuba City City Council and was at the meeting, said that health-care reform shouldn't affect most local businesses because they have fewer than 50 employees — the threshold for the federal program.
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4780.Find him on Facebook at ADrmccarthy.