Insurance and politics may sound like strange bedfellows but they aren’t. They share the same bed more often than most people realize and the impact can be profound for individuals and business whether it plays out on the national or state level. Such is the case since Presidential Candidate Donald Trump became President-Elect. Let’s look at two instances which will unfold after January 20, 2017.
Health Insurance: One of the corner pieces of President Barak Obama’s presidency is the Affordable Care Act which promised to bring affordable health insurance to millions of uninsured individuals and families. Health insurance has changed dramatically for most people, especially the self-employed, since the ACA went into effect.
Candidate Trump, along with most of the Republican candidates promised to dismantle the ACA if elected. Once the results of November’s election were tallied, many wondered if President-Elect Trump will make good on his promise. This issue was clouded once Donald Trump met with President Obama who encouraged him not to dismantle the ACA. President-Elect Trump conceded some of the pieces of the ACA are good and may be kept.
It’s anybody’s guess as to what will happen after Trump’s inauguration, however, we will at least have to work with and make coverage decisions based on what we currently have until Trump takes office. I believe it will most likely be scrapped but would like to see some sort of coverage kept for those who could not get health insurance due to pre-existing conditions.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance: Texas Judge, Amos Mazzant, issued an injunction last week blocking the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations from going into effect on December 1. The proposed regulation would have caused all workers, whether exempt or non-exempt, earning up to a maximum annual salary of $47,476 to receive overtime pay when working more than 40 hours a week. Many business owners, associations, and politicians felt this was too great an increase and would hurt both owners, employees, and consumers.
The impact of such a regulation exposes business owners to potential lawsuits from employees. General liability policies, in many cases, do not automatically include coverage for employment practices liability insurance or EPLI. Many commercial insurance companies offer this as an option that may be added to a general liability policy or purchased separately.
EPLI provides coverage against claims made by employees alleging discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, and other employment related issues. It makes good business sense for small and large businesses to have EPLI coverage to protect against such claims. I expect this ruling to be overturned once President-Elect Trump takes office, although I would like to see the current maximum raised from $23,660 a year to something around $30,000. Taking care of our employees also is good business!
What do you think? Share your comments, questions, and experiences with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!