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UK Healthcare System

August 5th, 2013 11:46 pm

If you live in the UK, you probably know that the healthcare here is a great option compared to what other countries have. Even the United States cannot compete with the services that the UK offers and the price at which those services are provided. Much of that comes from the idea that the UK has the National Health Service. This national insurance program is designed to ensure that everyone in the country has access to the healthcare that they need and that they don’t go bankrupt because they can’t pay for it, or struggle because they can’t pay insurance premiums. That’s very important. Areas like the US have good insurance programs, but only for those people who have a lot of money.

When people don’t have much money and they can’t afford health insurance, it becomes easier for them to simply ignore their health. They don’t go to doctors as much, they don’t go and get screened for diseases, and they generally don’t spend much time taking care of themselves. They might be given a prescription for something but they don’t take it because they can’t afford it, or they might think that they have something wrong with them but they don’t go and get it checked out because they can’t afford the doctor visit. With that in mind they often end up in the emergency room with a problem that could have been treated much more easily (and cheaply) if they would have gone to the doctor in time.
With the UK healthcare system, those kinds of things that are so wide-spread in other countries aren’t really seen in Britain and surrounding areas. There are still some people who won’t go to the doctor for other reasons that have nothing to do with insurance – anxiety, distrust, etc – but there are not that many of these people. It’s much better to have the option to go to the doctor and get medical treatment when needed and not to have to worry about things like not having enough money. This is especially true for families with children, because when children are sick people work very hard to get them the medical care that they need.

Affordable Care Act

April 13th, 2013 1:24 am

1. Businesses with Fewer than 25 Employees- Small Business Tax Credits

The Affordable Care Act does not require that businesses provide health insurance, but it offers tax credits for eligible small businesses that choose to provide insurance to their employees. To qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35% (up to 25% for non-profits), you must have:

Fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees
Pay average annual wages below $50,000
Contribute 50% or more toward employee health insurance premiums

Beginning in 2014, this tax credit goes up to 50% (35% for non-profits) and is available to qualified small businesses who participate in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges.

2. Businesses with 50 or Fewer Employees- Affordable Insurance Marketplaces

The Affordable Care Act does not require that businesses provide health insurance, but beginning in 2014, small businesses with generally 50 or fewer employees will be able to purchase coverage through SHOP , competitive marketplaces where small employers can go to find health coverage from a selection of providers. The SHOP Marketplaces and Individual Marketplaces for those who are self-employed open on January 1, 2014. Open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013. SHOP will offer small businesses increased purchasing power similar to that of large businesses.

3. Businesses with 50 or More Employees- Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions

Under the Affordable Care Act, the Federal government, State governments, insurers, employers, and individuals share the responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality, and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States. Employers are not required to provide coverage to their employees under the Affordable Care Act. However, beginning in 2014, businesses with 50 or more full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) that do not offer affordable health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage to substantially all of their full-time employees (and their dependents) may be subject to an employer shared responsibility payment if at least one of their full-time employees receives a premium tax credit to purchase coverage in an insurance Marketplace. A full-time employee is generally one who is employed an average of 30 or more hours per week.