Health care reform is a signature issue for the Obama administration, which has called for an overhaul of the existing health insurance and delivery systems to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health care. Congress completed action on two reform bills that were designed to achieve these goals. Nonprofit organizations engaged in the policy debate because reforms presented the opportunity to reduce the costs that nonprofits pay as employers and to extend health care coverage to the individuals served by the nonprofit community.
President Obama signed into law and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the majority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ("ACA") including one of its most important components, the individual mandate. The court, however, struck down the law's requirement that states expand their Medicaid coverage. By 2014, Health and Human Services (HHS) must write the regulations for employers in providing insurance, and states that choose to do so must set up their own health insurance exchanges. The federal government will assume the responsibility for states that refuse to set up their own exchanges.
The Affordable Care Act, among other reforms, extends access to coverage for the uninsured and prevents the denial of insurance for pre-existing conditions. It contains several provisions that would help nonprofit employers control health care costs. Some of the key provisions that affect small employers include:
Take advantage of the small employer health credit.
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