Are you a high-powered executive? Sure, we all are! Hey, did you know that, as a high-powered executive, those perks you get — free health care and better health benefits for you and your family because come on: you’re worth it, right? — are in violation of the anti-discrimination provision in the federal health law?

According to a story in USA Today, “Such advantages could soon trigger fines of up to $500,000.”

The provision says that employers that offer more generous benefits to highly paid workers could face fines of $100 a day for every worker who doesn’t get the perks, up to $500,000.

It applies to employers that buy benefit packages for their firms from insurers. Those that self-fund their coverage, which tend to be larger firms, already face similar restrictions under IRS rules.

While generally first in line for things like the aforementioned free health care, better restrooms, and VERY cushiony bail-out packages (“golden parachutes” they call them), high-powered executives tend to not be first in line for things like employee sympathy.

Good luck out there, high-powered executives. You’ll need it.

Thursday Headlines

For Those of You Invested in Healthcare Stuff in the Stock Markets: The Wall Street Journal has some insight into some up-and-comers. [Wall Street Journal]

The Politics of Refusal: Recently, an appeals court in Scotland ruled that a wide range of service providers have a right to object to helping with the provision of abortions, even if the care they provide is not directly related to the termination of a pregnancy. In the original ruling, last year, the duties carried out by the two Catholic midwives who brought the case had been considered so removed from the actual abortion that there could be no objection. The appeals court, however, disagreed. Everyone even tangentially involved, it said, has the right to object to providing a wide range of services. The only exception would be life-saving care. This ruling highlights issues that have relevance beyond Scotland. [The Huffington Post]

Making a Difference in Healthcare Costs: “The cost of healthcare has certainly dominated the news in recent years with much finger pointing and blame to go around. Quite frankly, there are several things we can all do to help with the healthcare cost crisis, and most of them are pretty easy.” [Yadkin Ripple]

Wal-Mart in the Healthcare Space? or This is How You Do Irony: “Why is Wal-Mart speaking at a health care summit?” the company’s vice president for health and wellness, Marcus Osborne, rhetorically offered up at a conference back in January. “Wal-Mart’s in retail, we’re not in health care.” [Associated Press]

‘member How Republicans Are All, ‘Small Government! Small Government!’?: “A bill approved this week by the NC House Health and Human Services Committee would require minors get notarized consent from a parent or guardian before they could seek treatment for certain medical conditions, including mental illness, substance abuse, venereal disease, or pregnancy.” [Associated Press]

New Study Points Out Obvious Conclusion: “People with medical debt more likely to avoid medical care, finds new study.” []

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