Affordable Care Act

Farm Contractors Balk At Obamacare Requirements

Feb 9, 2016

Obamacare is putting the agricultural industry in a tizzy.

Many contractors who provide farm labor and must now offer workers health insurance are complaining loudly about the cost in their already low-margin business.

Some are also concerned that the forms they must file with the federal government under the Affordable Care Act will bring immigration problems to the fore. About half of the farm labor workforce in the U.S. is undocumented.

There's football season, hunting season, and the holiday season. Overlapping all of these is something decidedly less fun and sexy: open enrollment season for health insurance.

"We've been busy this past month," says Iris Galvez, a health insurance navigator with the Houston social services agency Change Happens!

A growing number of primary care doctors, spurred by frustration with insurance requirements, are bringing "health care for billionaires" to the masses, including people on Medicare and Medicaid, and state employees.

Health insurers in several big cities will take some pain out of doctor visits in 2016. The plans will offer free visits to primary care doctors in their networks.

You read that right. Doctor visits without copays. Or coinsurance. And no expensive deductible to pay off first either.

In Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and more than a dozen other markets, people seeking coverage through the insurance exchanges can choose health plans providing free doctor visits, a benefit once considered unthinkable.

Update at 8:40 p.m. ET: Senate passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act, with a 52-47 vote.

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