Posts tagged ‘healthcare’

Food Chains to Display Calories on Menu by 2014

By Chad Upton | Editor

Last year, President Obama introduced the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is part of the health care reform of 2010.

Although we hear a lot about the controversial parts of this reform, there are variety of lesser known, albeit interesting, changes that will be phased in through 2018.

Some restaurants have already complied with one new regulation that requires them to show caloric values next to items on their menu. I noticed that Panera is already on board and my wife reminded me that Olive Garden has done the same. This is a bold move and it confirms that anything Alfredo is both the best and worst thing that Olive Garden serves.

There are some other interesting changes too; here’s an abbreviated timeline:

2012

  • Employers will have to disclose the value of the benefits they provide to their employees.
  • Tighter restrictions on corporate payments to individuals and other corporations, designed to prevent tax evasion and raise an estimated $17 billion over 10 years.

2013

  • Individual salaries over $200,000 and families with income over $250,000 will see a tax increase of 0.5%.

2014

  • Insurers can’t discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurers can’t set annual spending caps.
  • Chain restaurants and vendors with 20 or more locations are required to show calorie count on menus and displays (additional nutritional info must also be available upon request).
  • Expand eligibility for Medicaid.
  • Changes to tax-free contribution limit on flex spending accounts.
  • Require that everyone has health insurance.
  • Penalize companies with more 50 full time employees if they do not provide insurance to those employees.

2017

  • States can apply to waive certain sections of the law if they mandate coverage that is as comprehensive and affordable.

2018

  • Existing health insurance plans must cover approved preventive care without co-payment.
  • Individuals who spend more than $10,200 ($27,500 for families) annually on health insurance will see an additional tax on those “Cadillac” plans.

This list was by no means comprehensive, although I did try to include the most notable changes. The details of these changes have been abbreviated and you should see the sources for additional reading on the provisions that may affect you.

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Sources: The Bill Itself (PDF), Wikipedia (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), Library of Congress

April 4, 2011 at 2:00 am 5 comments

State Health Care in Hawaii Since 1975

While the federal health care reform bill passed in the House of Representatives last night, Hawaii and Massachusetts have had state regulated health care since 1975 and 2006 respectively.

Whether you support government regulated health care or not, there is a good chance it will soon be an option for most Americans (the bill still has a number of steps before it is official). In the meantime, let’s have a look at the impact of health care reform on two other states.

Depending on where you get the numbers from, 85-89% of Americans have health insurance.

Before 1975, 70% of Hawaiians had health insurance, which made it the highest insured state at the time. On January 1, 1975 the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Art was passed, bringing the state to 92% coverage.

In Massachusetts, the introduction of State health care raised the insurance rate to approx 94% of residents in 2006. The following year, it went up to 97%. In the next two years it dropped a point and Massachusetts now has the lowest number of uninsured residents at 4.1%.

The Hawaiian and Massachusetts systems are quite different from each other. One of the key differences is who pays for it.  In the Hawaiian system, employers are required to provided health insurance to employees who work more than 20 hours per week. (more…)

March 22, 2010 at 12:30 am Leave a comment


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