Employees in the United States are served by a variety of fitness training services. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is one of them. It also reduced the cost of healthcare premiums for many Americans. Its benefits include lower premium rates and out-of-pocket fees. Prior to its implementation, 32 million Americans were unable to access health care. In 2013, 15% of Americans were without health care. Currently, 95% of Americans are enrolled in this scheme.
It has also put an end to discrimination based on gender or health status when it comes to medical care access. Previously, people without health insurance did not get the help they needed especially if they required advanced treatment.
There is also the introduction of a government portal healthcare.gov where citizens can compare the prices of various healthcare providers and make the right decisions.
The age which individuals can use their parents’ health insurance plan has also been extended to 26. This is advantageous since most members of the youth do not have jobs which can sustain health insurance payments below this age.
The Cafeteria Plan
These benefits are enjoyed by every American including employees. To make the plan even better, restaurant employees have also been provided with Section 125 which caters to their needs more specifically. This plan is known as the Cafeteria Plan. The population of restaurant workers continues to grow by the day as more food joints open in America every da. It is therefore important that these individuals are well catered for.
It is a plan which restaurant owners apply for and includes theirs employees in them. It provides a number of benefits and discounts for the employees. Employers who sign up their employees for this plan also enjoy a reduced tax. This makes it a win-win situation hence the employers are encouraged to adopt it. Employers are not forced to apply for it. However, their employees will suffer due to high prices of medication and they lose a chance of cutting costs.
The employees are entitled to getting refunds when buying over the counter medication for certain things such as birth control pills. The disabled employees also have access to wheelchairs at a discounted price. Certain treatment which can be expensive are catered for. This includes fertility treatments and drug addiction. Nicotine patches are also provide in the plan.
Section II: Features of the Cafeteria plan of the Affordable Care Act/ Obamacare
Obamacare has helped a lot of Americans who could not afford medical care. One of the plans is the Cafeteria Plan which addresses restaurant workers. Restaurant owners can ensure that their employees have certain benefits. Employers who sign up their employees to this program also get benefits such as tax reductions. It also reduces the amount of federal taxes owed by the employer when the taxable pay of the employees is reduced. It therefore benefits both the employer and the employee. However not all employees are entitled to it. The employee must be permanent and has worked for at least a thousand hours in the past year. This in turn reduces overall medical costs for employees hence thy can make more savings. Features of this plans include:
It allows room for reimbursement of medical expenses under Section 125. Employees can seek a refund for services such as ambulance charges, acupuncture, birth control, contact lenses, crutches, dental braces, drug addiction treatment, fertility enhancement, insulin, wheelchairs, etc.
Expenses which are over the counter can also be refunded. However, the employee must produce a prescription written by a physician. The expenses considered include throat lozenges, rubbing alcohol, nicotine patches, laxatives, first aid kits, reading glasses, sinus medications, etc.
Areas of improvement
The plan should also include reduced costs for pregnant women. This includes costs which pertain folic acid medication and other check-ups that they might need, such as ultrasounds. They should also include lower delivery charges for pregnant women
It should also have more benefits for single parents. Single parents who work in the cafeteria work for very long hours, thus they rarely have time for other jobs yet expenses keep on piling up. These benefits should extend to their children. They should include dental check-ups, eye glasses and minor accidents.
Respiratory health should also be taken care of in their benefits. This is because restaurant workers are exposed to smoke every day and this might interfere with their general respiratory health. They should get discounts of up to 50% when buying medication for chest problems.
Treatment of burns should also be cheaper for restaurant workers. These individuals mainly work around fires hence they are very susceptible to burns and scalds. It only makes sense that they should pay less for treatment of such injuries die to the nature of their work.
Eric E. Otenyo, & Earlene A. Smith. (n.d.). An Overview of Employee Wellness Programs.
Pinzur, M. S. (n.d.). Following the Affordable Care Act.