Why Some People Are Refusing Health Care

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Employees are opting out of the health insurance plans offered by their companies, because they have found cheaper alternatives on a state exchange or private insurance while other employees are being covered by their spouse's plan.

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More than 90% of all businesses in the United States are small businesses, said Anthony Lopez, manager of small business at eHealth.com, an online health insurance exchange based in Mountain View, Calif.

"Many of them will find that the ACA provides them with more opportunities than burdens," he said. "Working with a licensed agent is especially valuable for small businesses if they want to get the most for their insurance dollars."

Some companies will ask their employees to sign a waiver stating they were offered coverage, but denied it, said Tracy Morley, legal editor for XpertHR, a New Providence, N.J. online service providing HR professionals with employment law information.

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"If an individual does not elect to have health insurance coverage, the employer would typically have him or her sign a form indicating that coverage is waived," she said. "The form generally includes a statement that the employee understands that if coverage is waived, he or she may not be eligible until the next open enrollment period unless there is a qualifying event."

Since there are no strict rules or guidelines, some employers also ask for documentation of other coverage if the employee waives it, Morley said. If you are a new employee, you will be asked to complete this form at the time you are eligible for coverage.

Some employees are denying the coverage, because they can not afford their portion of the insurance premium. Large employers or those with 50 or more employees are now required by the Affordable Care Act to offer a plan that meets two standards – minimum essential coverage value and affordability. Effective for calendar year 2015, these employers must offer adequate, affordable health benefits to their full-time employees or they may face penalties, said Pamela Tahim, a senior associate at Tredway Lumsdaine & Doyle, a Long Beach, Calif. business law firm. Full-time employees are those working at least 30 hours per week.