10/9/2013 AUSTIN –
Despite a Federal shutdown in Washington, Austin’s tech scene hosted an event at the Capital Factory last night to help small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals in the work force get educated on the new healthcare marketplace.
Amanda Fredriksen of AARP, Texas spoke for an hour to a crowd of about 80 on what the new healthcare law means to Texans specifically. For employers she mentioned a few points, for instance if you have 75 employees, but only 25 are paying for coverage, and the rest are uninsured and can afford coverage, you’ll pay a penalty for the 25 instead of the 50 uninsured.
But, it’s not just employers who should keep up to date. Individuals with or without coverage should also check out the Federal marketplace at HealthCare.gov and if that’s not working, Fredriksen recommends signing up over the phone.
After speaking she fielded questions from the audience who asked a wide range of questions including whether employers have deadlines to inform their workers of changes in their healthcare policy to allow workers time to explore their options. The answer is a no.
Not all Texans will have options though. The Law only helps people above the poverty line, and in states like Texas where the governor, and legislators have decided not to expand on Medicaid, approximately 1 million citizens are expected not to find coverage, still an improvement over the estimated 5 million uninsured currently.
For those interested in hard facts and data about signups, there’s none available at the moment, but there will be monthly updates likely starting in November.
Fredriksen’s bottom-line was that everyone should get informed, and to check out the marketplace even if you have coverage because “it doesn’t hurt to look!”
The Capital Factory hosts monthly meetups organized by Refresh Austin for entrepreneurs, individuals, and the general public.