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Health Care Reform Update – September

With all of the talk about Health Care Reform (HCR), we recognize that this is a confusing time for all employers.

SERPEO is here to help!

Let’s start with the name. Whether you hear people talking about HCR, Obamacare or PPACA (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), they are all referring to the same laws regarding healthcare. While these laws apply to health care in America, there are different requirements for small employers (those with under 50 full time equivalents, FTEs) and large employers, (those with 50 or more FTEs). SERPEO’s purpose in this e-mail is to try and simplify the requirements for all employers.

HCR encompasses a broad range of changes to health care as we know it. Many of the provisions of HCR will happen automatically and will not require employers to do anything. The important thing for business owners is to know what they need to do to be compliant and which components of HCR will have a direct impact on their business. In future e-mail updates, we will inform you of upcoming changes that affect your business. It is imperative that business owners know they are required to provide their employees notification of their right to obtain health care coverage on the Marketplace (also called the Exchange) beginning October 1, 2013. While there is speculation that this deadline may be postponed, employers should move ahead with their plans to notify their employees. SERPEO is providing further guidance in a separate e-mail.

In the immediate future, this marketplace notice requirement is your primary responsibility. As you have probably heard, the employer mandate that requires large employers to provide a minimum standard of affordable health coverage or pay financial penalties has been postponed until 2015. Future e-mails will discuss these standards and penalties in more detail as well as strategies companies are using to mitigate the financial burden. If you need help determining if you are a large employer, SERPEO is happy to provide guidance.

Due to the enhanced coverage components of health care reform, expectations are that insurance costs will rise more quickly beginning in 2014 than they have in the past. These changes are outside of your control and we can address them together as we look at your plan renewal options during your upcoming open enrollments.

Be assured, SERPEO will keep you updated on the changing business requirements due to HCR. We will offer guidance and clarifications as new information becomes available.

If you have any questions please call us at 248.643.8900.

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