Real People Hurt by the Family Glitch

Two weeks ago, we spotlighted a Health Affairs Health Policy Brief about the family glitch, noting that these sorts of articles are good ammo for agents trying to explain to their group clients why an employer-sponsored health plan could be hurting their employees.

Now there’s another article, this time from NPR, that makes the same point. But this one tells the real stories of two people whose families are blocked from getting a subsidy by the employer’s group health plan. One gentleman would have to pay $6,200 per year to cover himself and his wife on his company plan, but if that plan didn’t exist, the couple could get coverage in the individual market for about $1,200 per year.

Most brokers are aware of the problem, but explaining the issue to our clients can be a challenge. Perhaps this is an article that you’ll want to forward to a few employers. Seeing the actual people who are hurt by the “ACA quirk” as the article calls it somehow makes it more real.

The article concludes by saying that, with “the Republican takeover in Congress, the chance of eliminating the family glitch seems unlikely to improve anytime soon.” That means that, for a lot of employers, the best thing they can do for their employees is dissolve the group health coverage and send them to your private exchange site where they can apply for a subsidized plan.

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