The Unintended Consequences of the Affordable Care Act

By Dan Mongoven
June 2013

We are six months away from the “new world” of health insurance. On January 1, 2014, many of the major provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) go into effect, including the Individual Mandate and the Employer Mandate.The Individual Mandate requires most United States citizens to purchase health insurance or risk paying a penalty. The Employer Mandate, often referred to as the “Pay or Play” mandate, requires employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to either offer health insurance coverage or pay a penalty. If these employers choose to offer coverage, they can still be penalized if their coverage is not “affordable” or doesn’t meet minimum essential coverage guidelines.

As time passes and more rules and regulations are solidified and/or amended, and as industry experts digest and analyze the impact of PPACA, it is becoming clear that there will be unintended (and perhaps negative) consequences resulting from this legislation. Certainly no one is naïve enough to believe that a massive overhaul to our country’s healthcare system would go off without a hitch, but some of these potential consequences seem counterintuitive to the law’s purpose and likely will surprise many…