Construction projects (new and renovations) within the health care industry will undoubtedly see growth in the upcoming years. Indeed, MedCity New reports that the Nashville medical mart (pictured below) is close to signing 15 new leases for the the new project, a major renovation of the existing convention center. According to Medical Construction & Design, "Total spending on hospitals and other healthcare buildings continues to increase steadily, driven particularly by rapid expansion in public healthcare construction."
Not only does construction affect the health care industry, but health care affects the construction industry. When Congress passed the new health care laws in March, it included some major provisions that will be "phased in" for the next few years. According to the USA Today report, here are some of the provisions that may affect your construction company:
- Business tax credit: Effective now, small business with no more than 25 employees can receive a tax credit to help provide insurance to employees. The credit will be up to 35% of the employer’s contribution if the employer pays 50% of the total premiums.
- Retiree insurance coverage: The government has included a $5 billion reinsurance program to allow employers to provide health coverage to those retirees over the age of 55 who are eligible for Medicare.
- High risk insurance coverage: The government has also included a $5 billion temporary insurance pool for high-risk cases to provide coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or who have been uninsured for at least six months.
- Potential increased premiums: Based upon three key provisions, there will be a likely increase in your insurance premiums to account for the additional coverages. These provisions include: (1) insurance companies are barred from denying coverage to children who have pre-existing medical conditions; (2) insurance companies must provide coverage for dependent children up to the age of 26; and (3) insurance plans are prohibited from placing lifetime limits on how much they pay out to individual policy holders.
There are numerous other provisions taking affect in 2011 that may increase the premiums for your employees as well.