Health reform mandates could lead to hiring younger, older workers

Wayne Pettigrew, senior consultant with Group & Pension Planners Inc., discusses possible unintended hiring consequences of health care reform mandates.
by Paula Burkes Published: March 29, 2013
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Q&A with Wayne Pettigrew

Unintended hiring consequences

may come from new health law

Q: I understand that health care reform mandates, which take effect Jan. 1, inadvertently could make certain candidates more favorable for hiring?

A: Yes, because of expanded coverage for dependent children, and certain mandate exemptions for Medicare, veterans and tribal members, employers may lean toward hiring those candidates. Though employers legally can't discriminate based on age or other demographics, they may lean toward applicants they know are likely to be covered elsewhere such as on their parents' health care plans, under Medicare or have existing tribal or veteran's benefits. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) now extends coverage to age 26 for dependent children coverage and the individual mandate provides exemptions for individuals covered under Medicare, tribal coverage or veteran's health care.

Q: How would this save an employer on benefits costs?

A: Individuals covered under other their parents coverage or on Medicare, tribal or veteran's benefits aren't likely to enroll in an employer's health plan, but still count toward participation requirements. So they count as a covered employee without the employer having to pay toward the cost of providing benefits for them.

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by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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