- posted by Norman LeBlanc in the Tax Blog
As most of you know, the Affordable Care Act (often nicknamed ObamaCare) is speeding towards us in spite of being challenged in Congress, various states, and the Supreme Court. With that in mind, we are going to roll out a multi part blog series on the Act culminating with a two part public webinar being held the last week of June (stay tuned for dates). The goal of this series is to provide, in plain language, the explanations and insights into what the act means to you and your business.
To get us started, let’s talk about what you can be doing now to offset some of the intangibles you’ll be faced with later this year:
- Assumptions- There are many. A fair number of your employees are likely under the impression that free health care is coming as soon as January 1, 2014. Some are thinking it’s coming from their employer - others are thinking it’s coming from the government. There are also assumptions being formulated as to whether it is better to work for a large employer or a small employer. The truth is - none of this is simple and straightforward enough to allow anyone to draw quick conclusions – even the experts.
- The Rumor Mill- There are many sources this will come from. News desks don’t always have access to all the facts nor the time to fully explain why certain things happen. The comedians will have plenty of material to choose from, which of course feeds and circulates misstatements. Ultimately this all leads to employees talking amongst themselves and spreading chatter to a bigger audience on social media sites like Facebook &Twitter.
- Cost- The premise of the entire Act is that it will lower costs for both the employer and the employee i.e. “the affordable part”. A labyrinth of formulas and categories were developed to even out the cost of health insurance and make coverage more universal. The underlying theory is that widespread coverage will lower everyone’s personal cost because having more participants creates a larger pool of resources. This theory will receive its first national test in 2014 when the law takes effect.
- Employee compensation- Health care is part of the overall compensation package you give your employees. For some companies, that cost won’t change much – for others, 2014 will bring large change. To manage this, it’s best to be working with your financial advisors and health insurance company as soon as possible – this will allow you to gauge the overall costs and start setting the expectations of your employees. Generally people deal best with things when they have a longer period of time to react to it. Sudden change is awkward for anyone.
To counter these things, the best action you can take is to get out in front of your employees now and explain the realities. Helping them understand the steps the company is taking, what it means to each segment of your company, and how it fits into their compensation, will go a long way. Our goal in this blog and webinar series is to give you the tools to do that. This news is much better coming from internal management then from an ever spinning rumor wheel.