Analyzing Businesses' Benefit Decisions -- Is Obamacare Really To Blame?

News outlets explore whether employer decisions are the result of the health law or part of long-term trends, as well as how agricultural businesses are preparing for the employer mandate, now delayed until 2015.

Kaiser Health News: UPS Won't Insure Spouses Of Some Employees
Partly blaming the health law, United Parcel Service is set to remove thousands of spouses from its medical plan because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere. Many analysts downplay the Affordable Care Act’s effect on companies such as UPS, noting that the move is part of a long-term trend of shrinking corporate medical benefits. But the shipping giant repeatedly cites the act to explain the decision, adding fuel to the debate over whether the law erodes traditional employer coverage (Hancock, 8/21).

Kaiser Health News: Health Law Adds New Expense For Farmers: Insurance For Field Workers
Farm labor contractors across California -- the nation's biggest agricultural engine -- are anxiously studying a provision of the Affordable Care Act, which will require hundreds of thousands of field workers to be covered by health insurance. And while the requirement to cover workers was recently delayed until 2015, the contractors, who provide farmers with armies of field workers, say they are already preparing for the potential cost, inconvenience, and liability the new law will bring to their business, which typically operates on a slender profit margin (Varney, 8/21).

Also in the news, Hispanics are a key coverage target for the Obama administration and insurers -

The Wall Street Journal: Health Overhaul Targets Hispanics
Insurers and the Obama administration are racing to sign Hispanics up for coverage under the federal health overhaul, eager to reach a segment of the U.S. population that offers huge opportunity but also presents many challenges. When WellPoint Inc. asked a group of 20 uninsured Hispanics to review educational materials on the new law earlier this year, many had simple questions: What is health insurance? And how does it work? (Martin, Campo-Flores and Rutland, 8/20).

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