Health Care Reform

 

Are you wondering how health care reform will affect your business?

Health care reform law contains provisions imposing new penalties and requirements for businesses and individuals.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or ObamaCare was signed into law in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2012.  Employers must continue to comply with ACA mandates and should be prepared for the changes that lie ahead.  We will continue to send newsletters (click here to sign up) and update the Health Care Reform section of our blog to keep you informed as guidance is released.  Please utilize the links in the menu to the right for additional detailed information.

 

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The Exchange Notice Requirement

In May 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Technical Release 2013-02 providing temporary guidance and templates for the Exchange Notice requirement under the ACA.  The notice requirement applies to all employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Employers must provide the notices to all employees (full time and part time).  The notice must be provided by October 1, 2013 for current employees and within 14 days of hire for all future employees.  The DOL has provided two versions of the notice, one for employers who offer a health plan and one for employers who do not offer a health plan.  The DOL also released and updated COBRA election notice.  The links to the exchange model notices and updated COBRA election notice are below.

 

Early Renewal Programs for Small Businesses

Beginning January 1, 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will dramatically change the types of small group plans offered and how their premiums are calculated.  Group rates will no longer be based on claims experience and health status, which could mean significant premium changes for some small employers.

Insurance carriers are offering an Early Renewal Program/Advanced Renewal Program.  This “special renewal”  allows employer groups more time to evaluate health care reform changes and select plans that best fit their needs in relation to cost and coverage.  By participating in the early renewal program you will able to stay on your current 2013 benefits until November 30, 2014.  Thus delaying the impact of health care reform on your company and your employees.

To support this request, carriers are requiring an “Opt In” form to be completed and submitted prior to early renewal.