When the Obama Administration made public pronouncements suggesting that people leaving the job market because of the impact of the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) was a positive indicator, these assertions were met with understandable skepticism and criticism by Republican critics. Administration spokespeople claimed that the lower employment participation rate was the product of Obamacare setting people free from the requirement that they remain with an employer merely to retain their health insurance.
This notion that employees would welcome the opportunity to quit their job if they were not compelled to stay by their need for health insurance coverage certainly seems counterintuitive. However, employer based health insurance plans have traditionally provided a way for patients to obtain affordable coverage and circumvent pre-existing condition issues. However, Obamacare has eliminated the risk of denial for pre-existing conditions and provided subsidies that are intended to make coverage obtained outside the workplace affordable.
A new report just released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) suggests that perhaps the snickers over the issue of employees being freed from “job lock” may have been premature. The CBO estimates that the number of workers that will elect to work fewer hours or leave their job under Obamacare amounts to the equivalent of two million full time jobs between 2017-2014. Based on this report Securian Financial Group conducted a survey that found forty percent of employees were experiencing “job lock.” The notion of job lock essentially means that an employee feels compelled to remain at their job merely to maintain health insurance coverage.
Many of the respondents in the Securian survey indicated that they have considered leaving their job to do something more meaningful or personal but did not follow through because of their need for employer provided health insurance. Of those that indicated they would consider leaving their job, 43 percent indicated they would like to start their own business while 16 percent indicated they would like to switch to an occupation that would not usually provide health insurance.
The bottom line is that Obamacare is in its infancy, so it is very difficult determine the types of claim disputes that an insured will experience. However, there is no reason to assume that many of the issues involving improper denial of covered procedures and other insurance coverage disputes will not occur as they have under HMOs. HMOs across the country have been determined to be liable for massive bad faith judgments for mishandling legitimate claims. An experienced health insurance claims attorney might be able to assist you or even file an insurance bad faith claim in appropriate cases.
If your health insurance provider is refusing to cover your claim, we can answer your questions about your rights. My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.