By now you have probably heard about a teeny tiny little change affecting employers regarding benefits called the Affordable Care Act. In short, this change is the largest possibly in the history of employment law. While the ACA impacts employers, it also impacts employees as everyone must find health benefits or face stiff penalties from the government from choosing not to do so. A couple months ago, Blogging4Jobs hosted a killer webinar on navigating the Affordable Care Act. It’s available free to view on demand and 1.0 HRCI recertification credits by clicking here.
Affordable Care Act Information for the Employer
The infographic below provides a killer visual timeline representation of the Affordable Care Act provided by Paycom. But first, I thought I would share with you some important points for employers (and your employees) when it comes to the 2013 and 2014 requirements and beyond for the ACA.
- The ACA impacts employers with 50 or more full time employees or 50 full time equivalent as defined by our government in the more than 1200 pages of law. And starting in 2013, employers will be required to offer essential insurance coverage to employees or face possible penalties and fines.
- While employers are required to shoulder some of the additional cost as will the employee, physicians and hospitals are expecting to see a 73% increase in primary care service fees. Doctors and small practices who aren’t required to offer health coverage are rejoicing. They are almost guaranteed to be rolling in the dough all without offering their employees health benefits as required under the ACA.
- Interestingly enough, the ACA also penalizes companies that choose not to offer affordable health coverage to its employees. Affordability is not fully defined as of yet but it is thought to be based on an employee’s W-3 compensation meaning that employees who earn more, could be required to pay more for healthcare coverage offered by their employer. This increase in cost will be passed on to your highest paid employees and probably your CEO. I’m certain he/she won’t be happy about that, but he/she is just one guy, right? In short, get your CEO talking points on the ACA ready and other highly compensated employees.
- Healthcare benefits must be offered within 90 days of an employee’s start date. For many organizations this is already standard practice but for those who have never offered health care to an employee population, this is going to be a new process and communication strategy HR must put in place.
- Employees who are not offered insurance because their company is not eligible or decline coverage are required to visit a state or federal ACA exchange or face individual penalties. This means that employers who do not fall under the law according to the ACA, must develop a communication and education strategy and explain these new requirements to employees. I, personally don’t want to deal with a stream of angry employees in 2014 and beyond who are upset because they are fined because they didn’t understand the law or knew to seek health benefits as required by the exchange.
Cut through the noise on the Affordable Care Act for Employers by watching on free on demand webinar outlining the inevitable ACA information and changes. Click here.