Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) for Construction Workers

July, 2012 -- Many workers in the construction industry make a living by working at a lot of short time temporary projects with different contractors. A typical open shop industrial construction craftsmen may finish each year with a stack of W-2 forms and may be required to file tax returns in multiple states. The insurance offered by contractor and other temporary employers is not portable from one employer to the next. Unless the worker's spouse has a Employee Sponsored Family Health Plan, keeping continuous and adequate health insurance coverage is difficult and costly. Studies have shown that open shop construction workers are the most likely segment of the nations workforce to be without health insurance.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). A worker will have the option of obtaining affordable insurance outside the workplace by enrolling in one of the newly created state insurance exchanges. The cost is expected to be lower because the plans will be subsidized by employers who prefer paying penalties rather than providing healthcare coverage for their employees.

A family with a household income of less than 400% of the national poverty line will qualify for subsidies to help with a standard healthcare policy. Out of pocket expenses for these families will be capped at 9.5% of annual income. A family with income below 133% of the poverty line will be eligible for free healthcare via Medicaid. Under some conditions a worker may use the funds his employer may have used to purchase his insurance and apply it to a more affordable plan from the exchange.

These provisions are to be fully implemented by January 2014