Join us March 20th at 6PM ET and be informed about one of the many choices the trucking industry faces: The Health Law and its affect on trucking.
The battle is over and the Health Law is indeed law. Now what? How will it affect those within the trucking industry? Many are faced with this Question and will need to understand and make an informed decision prior to the very near March 31st deadline.
For one, there are many from every industry who have lost their policy because of the fact that it does not include required coverage stated by the health law. Policy owners will have to either find new coverage on their own, whether it be through a state or federal marketplace, through an insurance agent, broker or a certified web broker, or take the penalty and decline coverage.
One thing is for certain, unless considerable tax credits are applied to the premium ( “on exchange” only), your cost will most likely be higher. Tax credits result in reduced premiums and are calculated by determining Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
So what does this mean for the trucking industry?
Owner Operators, company truck drivers, and trucking companies (Employer mandate 2015- provide employee coverage) will all need to know their options.
Facts: Many professional drivers have health issues often caused as a result of their high stress, irregular sleep patterns, and sedentary lifestyle. More often than not, drivers have gone without medical attention because they either could not afford health insurance, or they had too many pre-existing conditions to obtain coverage. Owner Operators are responsible for their own coverage and many company drivers are not offered health insurance or have declined coverage.
Many trucking companies, depending on the number of employees, will be required to offer health insurance (will rates be higher?) The Health Law has eliminated the decline of coverage for pre-existing illness. ALL are now approved for guaranteed coverage.
Individuals: But what about cost, is it affordable? What other options do we all have besides state and federal marketplace? What happens if I refuse coverage? How do Calculate my AGI to see if I’m eligible? What is the “On Exchange” and “Off Exchange” Can I still get a reduced premium even if I opt out of the “On Exchange?” What happens if my Employer drops coverage or if it is too expensive, can I apply for “on exchange”? If I get insurance from my company is that on or off exchange?
Employers: What happens if I do not offer coverage to my employees? How many employees can I have before I am required to offer Health Insurance? What will happen to those employees whose coverage is dropped by employer, where will they obtain coverage then? What is “defined contribution”?
1) Owner Operators – O/O profits are dwindling, many to the point of making less than a company driver. Fuel Cost, cheap freight, increased regulations, EOBR’s, HOS, and the increased costs of trucks and maintenance have all contributed to it. When their AGI is calculated, 85% of screened drivers are eligible for significant premium reductions.
2) Company drivers – who are not offered or who have previously declined insurance: Company drivers have relatively low wages This allows them for significant tax credits. The fact is that because of their financial bracket, professional drivers meet the criteria for substantial Tax Credits/reduced premiums. Period.
3) Trucking Companies – Again, depending on the number of employees, trucking companies will be mandated to provide/offer coverage to employees. There are options regarding the health insurance mandate they should be aware of and understand.
One question that comes up most often is from those who would rather decline health coverage through the state or federal marketplace. Can they still get health insurance?
YES, they will be “off Exchange” and can also go through an agent, broker, certified web broker, or Insurance Company (Such as Blue Cross and Humana). They will pay full premium which may be many times more than the cost of a premium which offers eligible tax credits through the “on exchange”. They also have the option to totally decline health insurance and pay the IRS penalty which is small for the first year.
CDL Consultant can assist you with this option also. Contact them at: 800-459-0962.
We will be addressing concerns of the Health Law as it affects those within the trucking industry on Thursday 3-20-14 at 6PM ET on Truth About Trucking “Live”.
Our guest will be Tom Smith, VP of Trucking Division of Pay Plans and Benefits and CDL Consultant. Many of you have already spoken with Tom and he will be available for further questions on the show. Do not miss one of the last opportunities to be informed before the March 31st deadline.
One thing is for certain, regardless how we all feel about the Health Law, it is our responsibility to make educated choices based on information from those who have experience providing insurance and also have the knowledge and experience of the trucking industry.
The bottom line: What is the best choice for YOU?
Join us 6PM ET as we discuss The Health Law and its affect on Trucking.
Click the link to listen and join the online chat room. To listen from your phone or to be a part of the show call in at: 347-826-9170.
Related Post: Professional Truck Drivers benefit from Health Care Law