Obamacare Takes a Bite Out Of Applebee’s

dirty rotten apple 1 by flickr user Lara604, licensed by Creative Commons

Are poisoned apples covered under Obamacare?

Many businesses have struggled to stay afloat during these trying economic times.  Amidst the recent campaign season, the buzz was surrounded around middle-class America and small businesses, but we are slowly learning that small businesses aren’t the only ones hurting.  Zane Tankel, chairman and CEO of Apple-Metro and owner of 40 Applebee’s restaurants expressed his concern for the Applebee’s chain to the Fox Business Network.  Due to the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, businesses who employ more than 50 people must provide each employee with an approved insurance plan.  The penalty for not providing insurance is a $2,000 fine for every worker over the 30 worker mark.  Tankel’s smallest Applebee’s staff consists of at least 80 employees, so you can see why he’s upset.

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Aetna to Settle with Missouri for $1.5 million After Violating Strict Insurance Requirements

Condoms by Flickr user robertelyov, licensed by Creative Commons

Aetna, an health insurance agency, has recently agreed to settle with the State of Missouri for $1.5 million after violating strict requirements regarding abortions, contraception, and autism in insurance policies.  Missouri has unique laws that outline what insurance agencies are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do involving these three touchy subjects.  In 1983 a law was made that prohibits abortion coverage from basic insurance policies and instead requires payment of an additional premium.   A 2001 Missouri law states that birth control prescriptions should be covered under policies with pharmaceutical benefits.  That law also allows people to purchase a plan with contraception coverage if their employer’s plan does not offer it.  Aetna provided coverage for contraceptives and abortions without allowing employers to opt out.  According to officials, Aetna had also excluded coverage for autism spectrum disorders.

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Maternity Leave No Reason to Discriminate for Mortgage Insurer

A pregnant woman, by Flickr user "karolajnat", licensed via Creative Commons.The mortgage insurer MGIC Investment Group has settled a federal lawsuit alleging that they refused to sell mortgage insurance to women on maternity leave.  The suit claimed that the company required 70 women to return to work before they would sell them the insurance, which “allows homebuyers to take out loans with down payments of less than 20%”, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Yesterday, the company settled for $550,000, with $511,000 to be compensation for the women and $39,000 as a civil penalty to the government.  In addition, MGIC will have to train its employees on discrimination law and revamp its policies concerning customers on maternity leave.  The company has also entered a preliminary settlement in a related class action suit in order to avoid spending any more money on a lawsuit they will likely lose.

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