|E to E provides information from a business perspective that will educate regional employers about significant healthcare issues to help them make decisions benefiting their organizations and employees.|
THE LATEST NEWS and VIEWS ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
As we shared with you via e-mail, the White House and U.S. Department of the Treasury recently announced that the Employer Shared Responsibility (Play or Pay) portion of the Affordable Care Act will be delayed until 2015. This gives employers another year to prepare for the mandate requiring employers with at least 50 full-time-equivalent employees to offer affordable health coverage to those who work at least 30 hours a week.
According to the White House blog, the decision was made in order to give employers more time to implement the necessary changes.
What does this mean for your business?
What's Still Expected by January 2014
Several key provisions are still effective on January 1, 2014. Plans are expected to comply with these changes:
Start Planning Your Enrollment Communications Strategy
During a time of significant change (real or perceived), planning effective communications strategies and tactics is especially critical. Start now. Here are six ideas to get you started:
Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace a.k.a. State Exchanges
As of October 1, private insurance companies will be offering health insurance online through either individual states or the federal government. Illinois and Wisconsin have both chosen to use the federal government website to offer options to their citizens, who will be able to compare plans based on price, benefits, quality, and other important features. Help will be offered online, by phone, by chat, or in person at 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Some employees may choose exchange options instead of your healthcare plan. If that happens, you will no longer contribute money toward their insurance and will not be able to deduct their coverage costs as a business expense. Their taxes could actually go up. Each employee will have to determine which option is right for him/her. Employees should understand there are both advantages and drawbacks of the health insurance exchanges in case they decide to use them instead of the company's coverage.
Watch the Health Insurance Exchanges video for more basic information about the exchanges.
Head spinning? Call us for answers.
NIHP can help you navigate all the ACA healthcare policy changes. For more information on the Affordable Care Act and what it means for you and your employees, contact us at 815-599-7050 or 800-723-0202.
THE END OF THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT (DOMA) COULD IMPACT YOUR PLAN
When the Supreme Court declared parts of DOMA unconstitutional, it declared the federal definition of marriage as a legal union only between one man and one woman as obsolete. Now, same-sex couples who are married in the states where it is legal must be treated as spouses under federal law. From a benefits standpoint, the fallout is still unclear.
What IS clear is that many potential programs may be impacted, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, HSAs, FSAs, and the Affordable Care Act. NIHP will closely follow these issues and update you as more details emerge. Please call us if you have any specific questions about your plan.
Affordable Care Act
Communicating the ACA
Health Insurance Marketplace (State Exchanges)
Defense of Marriage Act
A Quick Review of Last Issue's "Quick Poll"In the April 2013 issue of E to E we asked readers, "Based on what you know, do you think your business will be required to pay the Comparative Effectiveness Research Fee?" Specific survey results are noted in the chart, below.
July Quick Poll – Vote