If you own a business, no matter how large or small, there are certain things each business MUST do to become compliant with ObamaCare. The first thing is to have all of your SBCs (Summary of Benefits and Coverage) in order, for the plans that you offer. These must be available for ANY employee that asks for them and be readily available. The other piece of easy compliance are the SPDs (Summary Plan Descriptions). These are basically the plan designs of each plan that you offer, the benefits and how the copays, co-insurance, etc are to be paid. This all began back in late 2012, so your broker should have already supplied you with that…..if not, ask them why!
Depending on the size of your business, there will be more issues to deal with in the near future. Compliance issues range from offering ALL full time, and full time equivalent (FTE) employees (30+ hours) the minimum level benefits outlined by the ObamaCare guidelines, as of January 2014, to reporting the amount spent on employees and their benefits on their W-2 forms, (that one, the implementation is still under review).
Penalties for non-compliance are currently set at $2000 an employee after the first 30, and then go up from there. The belief is that the penalty will climb dramatically to encourage employers to “play” instead of “pay”. The reasoning is the in some cases, paying the penalty may be cheaper for the employer than to provide coverage, which can be very expensive. More on that in the next few months.
Health Insurers are required under ObamaCare to provide certain coverage to members now and even more come next year. Enhanced women services, children’s services, etc.
The biggest question now, is how much are premiums going to increase to cover all of the “free” and enhanced services the law requires now. Some are predicting the prices to rise as much as 50-75% almost overnight….no one knows for sure. A question I’ve had since the very beginning of all of this is…”the name of the legislation is the Affordable Care Act….I’ve yet to find anything “affordable” about it so far, when are we going to address the COST of medical care, not necessarily the availability?”
Steve Brauer-President, Brauer Insurance Services LLC….(408) 421-5555