posted on Mar, 22 2013 @ 01:35 PM
I think this is CVS's way of adhering to the law (by offering insurance to their full-timers, of which there are far more than 50) and actively
discouraging employees from being on their insurance and all the while hoping that said employees get their own insurance thru the state exchanges.
In other words, they are dumping their employees (or trying to while still staying in step with the law) onto the state sponsored and subsidized
This is rather like offering someone a seat and giving them a chair covered in nails. No one could say you didn't offer the seat, but of course few,
if any, would be expected to actually want to sit on it.
Sadly I think more and more companies will come up with crafty ways like this to try and discourage use of their insurance and instead herd people
towards the state insurances (in those states that have set them up; workers in states that don't will have far fewer options) or simply buying their
own policy. Just another response to government regulations and just more ways that businesses will try to wiggle out of them, all at the expense of
the employees or customers or both.
They can get away with this sort of thing because accepting insurance from an employer is still voluntary (Obamacare requires that people have
insurance; as far as I know it doesn't stipulate from where you have to obtain it and an employer policy is just one option) and employees are free
to decline it and take the extra money in their paychecks and buy their own policies, which will of course be exactly what CVS is hoping will happen.
Those who decline their coverage will avoid the spurious fee (just more of the nails on the hypothetical chair, but then you will have to provide your
own nail-free chair at some point so that you can sit as required by law) and can then buy their own insurance.
Unfortunately what I think will eventually happen is that fewer and fewer people will have employer based coverage (for this and other reasons, such
as companies dropping their plans and paying the fine instead, which is cheaper for them) and that those people will end up on the exchanges, buy
their own policies or simply do without. Personally I think that employer-based health insurance should go the way of the dinosaurs, especially since
those of us who are self-employed basically end up with the dregs of insurance coverage unless we are very wealthy (and even the wealthy self-employed
have to pay more than their counterparts who get company-based insurance). Self-employed people pay more and get less, and it has been that way for
quite sometime, long before Obamacare came on the scene. And Obamacare does nothing for the self-employed either, unless you are game for signing up
for the crappy state-sanctioned plans that will be offered (thank you but I'm keeping my current policy that I bought years ago; I'll stay in the
frying pan rather than jump into the fire).
That said, I think that people who work for companies who do this sort of thing (if they are able to) should simply decline their coverage and get
their own if they want insurance, or just quit and work for companies who don't have this sort of policy. Despite Obamacare, insurance from a company
is still just a benefit and is not the only source of an insurance policy. Actually, in all reality, if you are going to abide by the Constitution of
the US (which is still in force, as far as I know) you needn't have any insurance at all if you don't want to, regardless of the bizarre SCOTUS
interpretation of Obamacare.