Lexington lawyer writes booklet helping Kentucky businesses to break down health-care reform law


Levi, a lawyer with the Lexington firm of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, has authored a new publication, The Impact of Health Care Reform on Kentucky Employers. The 68-page booklet, published by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, is a readable summary of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, writes Greg Kocher of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The law that started taking effect in March 2010 has had more more interpretations and critics than it has pages — that’s 2,555, if you don’t count the legal citation references that require reading included within it. “There’s a lot of criticism of it from people who haven’t read it, and I think you have to know it before you can criticize it,” said Levi, a Danville native and resident, said of the law.

“I’m not taking a political position one way or another. I am neutral and I tried very hard to remain neutral.”

The most common misconception about the law “is that all health care is going to be free and people can get all the care they want,” Levi told Kocher. ‘So there are some unrealistic expectations on behalf of consumers.”

Levi also noted some confusion about how different-sized businesses qualify for different exemptions under different provisions of the law.  She said that some employers are weighing the “pay or play” mandate that takes effect in 2014.

Under that provision, writes Kocher, “employers with 50 or more employees must provide ‘minimum essential’ health plan coverage to their eligible employees or pay a penalty if an eligible employee obtains coverage through a state-sponsored health insurance exchange and qualifies for benefits subsidized by the government.

An employer who offers no health coverage will be subject to a penalty equal to $2,000 a year per employee after the first 30 employees. “I think some employers are doing the math as to whether they pay the penalty or provide insurance for their employees,” Levis said. “I saw a report that said 88 percent of employers are still going to provide the coverage.”

Jim Ford, vice president of business education for the Kentucky Chamber, told Kocher that the booklet “basically says here are the rules, here’s what it means, here’s what implementation means. We’re leaving politics at the door. Here’s what you need to know.” (Read more) For information on buying the booklet, go here.

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