Compare Health Insurance: McDonald’s Denies WSJ Report

Recently I blogged about a Wall Street Journal article stating that McDonald’s was worried it would have to discontinue offering its hourly employees “mini-med” plans because of President Obama’s health care reform bill.  According to ABC News’ Daniel Arnall and Huma Khan, McDonald’s denies any truth to that story in “McDonald’s Fights Back Against Report it Will Drop Health Care Plan.”  The so-called “mini-med” plans allow McDonald’s employees to receive limited medical coverage at a very low cost.  While McDonald’s did ask the government to compare health insurance and determine if they could have an exemption to the new MLR (medical loss ratio) requirements, a denial of that request does that mean that McDonald’s will stop offering the plans.

The MLR requirements mandate that 80-85% of the premium amount collected go to pay for medical care, rather than administrative or business costs.  Due to higher employee turnover for hourly workers and low medical costs associated with mini-med plans, that number will be difficult for McDonald’s to work with.  But McDonald’s and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are adamant that McDonald’s has no intentions of dropping the health insurance coverage options.  Many large retailers offer similar plans through health insurers like Mercy Health Plans where employees pay from $14 to $32 per week for basic yearly coverage up to $10,000.  While the NAIC says that no exemptions will be offered for MLR requirements, the government points out that requirements haven’t yet been set in stone and everyone will have access to affordable health coverage.

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