The Affordable Care Act will require employers to offer health insurance that covers their workers’ children too, the Obama administration announced on Monday.
While the decision sounds like a win for working-class Americans, there’s a catch: The New York Times noted that the coverage is not required to be “affordable” because of how the law is written.
Though many companies offer family health insurance today, a narrow selection of them do not, meaning the rule will require significant changes for some in the private sector. Nevertheless, it only applies to full-time employees at companies with more than 50 workers, meaning most small businesses are exempt.
It also means that, without a sizable government subsidy, employer-based family health insurance will continue to be out of reach for many.
Although the number of uninsured Americans improved in 2011, nearly 48 million Americans still did not have health insurance in October 2012, according to The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (PDF).
The rule is set to take effect in 2015.
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