TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

Written by on August 30, 2013 in Insight - No comments

Major Insurance Companies Committed to Participate in State and Federal Marketplaces/Exchanges in Accordance With ACA Deadline

Many employers are breathing a sigh of relief after the July 5th announcement of a delay in enforcing parts of the Affordable Care Act.   They feel that a bullet has been dodged.  However, there has not been any significant change in what individuals and businesses must do to comply with the rules of “Obamacare”.  The individual mandate that continues to drive the ACA legislation was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012; that means it’s here to stay.

January 1st, 2014, is still a very important deadline for everyone. That is when the requirement for every individual to purchase health insurance goes into effect.  The state and federal marketplaces/exchanges have already been established and most major insurance companies have committed to participate. Beginning October 1st of this year individuals will be able to apply for health insurance through the exchanges. Tax subsidies based on income may allow some individuals and families to find more affordable health insurance, but others will see significant rate increases in their personal policies.

Employers of all sizes will be required to distribute a notice to their employees explaining the obligation of each individual to purchase health insurance. This must go to employees by October 1, 2013. The notice will certainly generate questions and concerns as it states “you may qualify to save money and lower your monthly premium, but only if your employer does not offer coverage, or offers coverage that doesn’t meet certain standards”.  Employers who offer health plans will be required to complete an “Employer Coverage Tool” in which the employer must disclose whether his group health insurance plan is “adequate” and “affordable”.

The challenge for businesses to comply with the new law is only just beginning.  Preparation and planning is still crucial because we know that there are other bullets coming in 2015. The coming year will be a chance for many employers to catch up on what they should have done in the past six months. Business owners should consult their benefit advisors to develop their individualized plan for compliance.

By Joe Gupton, CWCS,
EmployeeSync Specialist, Jones Insurance

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