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“Small Businesses Weigh Sending Sick Workers to Obamacare Exchanges”

Bloomberg Businessweek

Following is an excerpt: 

One possible roadblock: Such a practice may be illegal, and it might leave business owners open to employment discrimination claims, says John L. Barlament, an attorney at the law firm of Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee. Nevertheless, he says he has had “multiple conversations” with business owners and insurance brokers interested in pursuing this option.


It is not clear that any businesses have done this yet, but Barlament says he has advised clients who are willing to take the risk that they should make sure their employees will receive better coverage on the marketplaces than they would on the job.

The idea would be to offer employees incentives for declining company coverage, not to force them off the company plan or penalize them for staying on it, both actions that would violate established law. He says he “wouldn’t be shocked at all” if some employers try it next year. “Once [the Obamacare marketplaces] really get rolling, I could definitely see this happening in 2015.”


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