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Health Care Reform has important updates for 2015

Healthcare reform or Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), or the more popularly known Obamacare, was passed in 2010 with the intention of overhauling the American healthcare scenario. From the time of its enactment, the ACA has been getting amended from time to time. One of its updates came about in 2015. By industry standards, the updates suggested are considered routine and not significant.

Highlights of the health care reform for 2015

January 1, 2015 was the date from which the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's mandate relating to the employer became effective for organizations that have 100 or more employees who work fulltime in the organization or its equivalent. These employees must have put in, on average, at least 30 hours per week. These 30 hours include the sum of hours by part-time employees whose working duration adds up together to equal the working hours of the "equivalent" full-time employees.

Medium size employers come under the ambit of Obamacare in 2015

Healthcare reform update for 2015 includes the proviso that such employers must now offer full-time employees, as well as their dependents, all the benefits of affordable health care coverage. Failing this, they will invite penalties. The starting date for implementation of these requirements for smaller businesses, with a workforce of between 50 and 99 fulltime employees is January 1, 2016.

Other updates for 2015

This apart, healthcare reform updates for 2015 include small changes made into the following areas:

Open enrollment:

Almost a replica of that of the previous year, healthcare reform update for 2015 is different in a couple of small areas. A policyholder can change plans during open enrollment, irrespective of whether the policy is shopped on the health insurance marketplace or not. Insurers now offer 25 percent more plans in some regions. Changes can be made into the personal details such as change in address, income, etc.

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