Preparing for the Affordable Care Act

As we approach the next deadline for the Affordable Care Act, many experts are weighing in on how employers should be preparing for the costs and requirements of offering health insurance to employees. Two articles, “Healthcare Insurance Reform: Steps to Take Now to Prepare” and “The Fog of Obamacare”, discuss ways to prepare for the upcoming changes and what PEOs around the country have to say about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. While the authors approach the subject differently, the following points were key takeaways from both articles:

• Regardless of how you plan to handle the Affordable Care Act, preparing for multiple scenarios is a great way to stay ahead of the curve. It’s best to anticipate a variety of hypothetical cases, focusing more attention on those that could be the most costly, even if they’re also the most unlikely. For example, if most employees don’t participate in a company-sponsored medical plan because they have insurance through their spouses’ employers, consider the potential consequences if those other employers stop providing coverage to employees’ dependents. How much would the organization’s costs go up if those employees decided to join the company’s plan?

• It’s also a good idea to anticipate higher premiums and plan accordingly. There have been many conflicting reports about what will happen to monthly premiums over the next few years as the insurance marketplaces take effect. Some believe rates could increase by 20% or more, while others are pointing to the recent report that claims the California exchange programs are boasting lower-than-expected premiums as evidence that the costs for Obamacare won’t be as high as analysts have projected. Either way, both articles imply it would be more prudent for companies to follow the phrase, “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”.

• Have the right team in place to help navigate the waters of Obamacare. Well-informed advisors can help answer some of the more challenging questions about eligibility, affordability, and accessibility, especially for companies that are not confident in their ability to manage these issues on their own. StaffScapes is prepared to help clients review options, create an appropriate plan, and ensure compliance with the new law in a cost-effective and efficient way. Our team is committed to easing the concerns of our clients and employees and has been following the progress of Obamacare very closely. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prepare your business for the open enrollment period for the marketplaces, which starts October 1st.