Posted by: Cody Carroll
On December 4th the Irvine Chamber of Commerce hosted a post election town hall meeting with a health care panel of experts to give the business community the answers they need to navigate the current and upcoming changes in health care. More than 75 business leaders gathered at Brandman University to hear about how the Accountable Care Act (ACA) is affecting businesses today, and what they can expect in the next couple of years. Kelly Moore from Moore Benefits presented the panel with questions, and panel members shared their expertise.
The panelists included Neil Crosby, Principal of Warner Pacific and VP of Public Affairs for CAHU and NAHU, Juan Lopez, Area director for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Sam Murray, CEO of ManagEase, and Ann Stawicki, Benefits Consultant at Burnham. Presenters gave an overview of the ACA, and advice to business leaders on how to best position themselves for the future. With 2013 and 2014 ushering in various taxes, Pay or Play penalties, W2 reporting and requirements around information that must be provided to employees, all of the presenters suggested that it will be imperative for employers to surround themselves with expert benefits consultants who will ensure they have the resources and information to comply with requirements. Employers will need to work with an expert who has access to benchmarking and actuarial support, financial modeling, expert employee communication and compliance support.
As a recap of a blog post by Scott Aston on November 14th, here’s what’s on the horizon:
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF WHAT’S IN STORE FOR 2013:
- Employers will need to report aggregate medical plan contributions on employee W-2’s
- $2,500 limit on health FSAs
- Provide Summary of Benefits & Coverage (SBCs) to employees
- Provide 60 day advance notice of mid-year plan changes
- Include Enhanced Women’s Preventative Health Benefits
- Notify employees of existence of Health Insurance Exchanges
- Increased Medicare taxes for high wage earners
For most fully insured plans, the carriers are making the mandatory changes to ensure that the plan benefits and SBC’s are in compliance. For self-insured plans, the carriers and TPA’s are working with us to do the same. Most payroll providers should be providing you with the resources to comply with the increase in taxes and W-2 reporting. Lastly, your trusted Burnham Benefits Advisor is here to make sure that all points are being executed and implemented properly, as well as providing appropriate education, support, and guidance along the way.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BE KEEPING YOUR EYE ON:
- Final rulings on non-discrimination testing (Fully Insured Plans)
- The launch of the state-sponsored exchanges
- Guidance on Automatic Enrollment (>200 Employees)
HOW BURNHAM CAN HELP YOU ADDRESS FUTURE HEALTHCARE REFORM CHALLENGES:
- Pay or Play Financial Modeling
- Cadillac Tax Modeling / Benefit Planning
- Plan & Contribution Design- to avoid “unaffordability penalty,” losing membership to the Exchange, and staying in compliance
- Wellness Plan Design and Implementation
As the panel discussion was closing, the remark was made that the presenters did a fine job of presenting what was known, but there still is much to be determined. PPACA will continue to evolve, experience delays, sustain challenges, and go through various forms of implementation. As these challenges and changes occur, Burnham Benefits is prepared to help you every step of the way and help you navigate the complicated waters of health care reform.
Burnham salutes the Irvine Chamber of Commerce for providing this important information to the business community.