When UPS told workers that it would no longer offer health coverage for spouses who had their own job-based insurance, it caused a big stir. But the shipping giant has plenty of company.
So many employers are trying to cut back on health coverage for spouses that it has become a trend. The practice began well before the Affordable Care Act passed, and the connection to the law, in some cases, isn't that direct.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 9:32 am
A 4-year-old child who died of a rare brain infection in early August has led Louisiana health officials to discover that the cause is lurking in the water pipes of St. Bernard Parish, southeast of New Orleans.
On Aug. 30, 2005, a doctor climbed the stairs through a New Orleans hospital to the helipad, which was rarely used, and so old and rusted it wasn't even painted with the hospital's current name.
From that helipad over Memorial Medical Center, the doctor looked out over New Orleans, now flooding after Hurricane Katrina. He considered the more than 2,000 people in the hospital below — 244 of them patients.
If we didn't experience Hurricane Katrina ourselves, we saw it: the ominous red pinwheel on the radar, the wrecked Superdome, the corpses. And certainly we saw our shame — America's inequality, negligence and violence were all laid bare by the storm.
But one tragedy went largely unwitnessed. And this is the subject of Sheri Fink's provocative new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer examines what happens when people make life-and-death decisions in a state of anarchy.
Last month the Obama Administration pushed back the employee mandate under the Affordable Care Act by one year. Employers with 50 or more full-time workers now have until 2015 to either provide their workers with health insurance or face a penalty.
In states that are expanding Medicaid as part of the the new health law’s roll-out, businesses have more flexibility in deciding how to make sure their workers are covered. And though Louisiana is not participating, proponents of expanding Medicaid in the state see the delay of the employer mandate as a chance to rally some small business support.