What happens when your job’s healthcare benefits get cut or significantly reduced? Some experts say that this frightening prospect could soon become a very real possibility for the majority of Americans.
By 2025, 80% of all private sector workers in the U.S. will no longer be offered health insurance through their places of employment — at least, that’s what a 2014 New York Times interview suggested.
Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, author of Reinventing American Healthcare and an adviser to the president during the drafting of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), concludes that the next ten years will see employers scale back company health plans, focusing their budgets instead on salary raises and other benefits.
Your Health Insurance Options
When asked why so many companies will make such a drastic and potentially dangerous change to their employee policies, Emanuel notes that the ACA provides Americans with a much wider range of individual coverage options.
These plans will compete directly with the ones offered by companies, making it more difficult for employers to appeal to job candidates and current employees with great medical coverage.
While many citizens settle for the plans offered by their company, others will begin opting for insurance offered by the government if it better suits their needs and budgets. As competition increases, company plans will likely struggle to remain relevant.
Forbes agrees that the ACA will likely accelerate the decline of employer-based insurance, and writer Peter Ubel explains that this shift could be better for both companies and their employees.
In order to provide health insurance, companies have to take money out of worker salaries to put it towards their insurance. The more money an employer takes out of the salary, the better the coverage.
The employee is restricted to the provisions of the company-offered plan, which means they sometimes pay for services they don’t need or lack coverage for ones that they do. Employer-provided plans offer you the same benefits as the person who works in the cubicle next to yours, but what if the two of you have entirely different health needs?
As employer health benefits begin to disappear, workers will have to seek out coverage that really protects them, either from the government or from another alternative.
The Power to Choose
So, what does this mean for employees? While health insurance used to be an important factor in picking a job, it looks as though it will soon become disconnected from the workplace. Thanks to the ACA, choosing your insurance will be a process similar to that of selecting your mobile carrier provider or internet service.
Whether you see this as an exciting or frightening prospect, it’s best to make provisions for the shifting tide. While some employees will be able to find plans that fit their health needs better, others may be left exposed.
Those who can’t afford their own insurance or find themselves in an income bracket where they fail to receive a sufficient ACA credit could be made especially vulnerable by the effective end of employer-offered plans.
Where Do You Turn?
Much of the danger of being underinsured or uninsured can be mitigated by joining SingleCare‘s growing community of citizens receiving affordable healthcare. SingleCare doesn’t require you to pay monthly fees or high deductibles, instead using a pay-as-you-go model to make sure you’re charged only what for you need.
SingleCare’s service gives you the freedom to only pay for services you actually use, and lets you select from a wide range of affordable options within their expansive network of providers.
Services are up to 50% off the out-of-pocket rate, as SingleCare pre-negotiates discounted rates for its members and provides a transparent platform for comparing costs between providers — removing enormous yearly fees and lack of clarity from the equation.
With the power to choose becoming more widespread, why not choose an option that’s affordable, tailored to your needs, and comes with no strings attached?
Whether you have no insurance at all or simply need something your provider doesn’t cover, see what SingleCare can do to make your life easier.
(Main image credit: Texas A&M University/flickr)