The open enrollment period for Obamacare starts on November 1, 2016 and runs through January 31, 2017. Not enrolling in health insurance comes with financial penalties, so to help you keep track of what you need to know about getting covered, our October Resource of the Month breaks down critical dates and provides you with key information on this important deadline.
Welcome to a new installment of “What Robin’s Reading,” our bimonthly feature that highlights what the Robin Weingast team is reading to stay current and up-to-date on the issues that will most impact our clients and their benefits planning.
This month we’re reading “Big threat to small biz workers in Obamacare case” and “States Scramble for ‘Plan B’ Ahead of Court Ruling on Obamacare.” This June, the Supreme Court will rule on King v. Burwell, a case that could alter the Affordable Care Act for the almost 8 million people in 24 states who rely on the federal exchange. Pending the ruling, millions of Americans stand to lose their subsidized coverage.
In a “Need to Know” post from last year, we explored how small businesses benefitted from the Affordable Care Act. With this ruling on the horizon, small businesses are particularly vulnerable to any changes to Obamacare. In the meantime, states are preparing for the ruling by creating workaround solutions that would ensure those covered under the Affordable Care Act don’t lose their healthcare coverage.
The Robin Weingast & Associates team is carefully watching to see how the ruling will impact all businesses — small or large. If you have questions, please contact us; we’re here to help.
In early June, President Obama signed into law the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act.” A portion of this new law essentially repeals a provision of the Affordable Care Act that was particularly burdensome for small businesses (those with less than 50 employees). This provision held that small groups were prohibited from offering health plans with deductibles higher than $2,000 for single coverage and $4,000 for family coverage.
This comes as very welcome news to small businesses, which often need the most flexibility and options in order to offer employees health insurance that is both comprehensive and affordable. Small companies will typically use higher deductibles and other cost-sharing strategies.
It’s also a positive change for any employers who want to offer their insurance plans in conjunction with health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Previously, federal agencies rejected HRAs as an allowable way to ease the $2,000/$4,000 provision.
The new law was effective immediately upon being signed and is just one example of the many ever-changing rules and regulations that impact your employee benefit plan.
Why not leave the planning to the capable Robin S. Weingast & Associates team, who stay on top of what these legislative changes mean for your business? Contact us today and we can discuss a custom, comprehensive plan that leverages these new small business allowances, incorporates HRAs, keeps your employees satisfied, and makes sense for your bottom line. We’ll even conduct a free evaluation of your current plan to ensure that your benefits are working for you. Reach out today.
The Affordable Care Act’s “healthcare marketplace” officially opens for business on October 1. Small companies with less than 50 employees will not need to offer insurance, while any company with more than 50 employees will have a one-year grace period from any penalties if they fail to offer insurance. ‘
One thing is absolutely required by October 1: companies must inform their employees about the healthcare exchange available as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
What is the healthcare exchange?
On the new healthcare exchange websites, individuals and small companies can select and purchase health plans.
Most companies are not prepared to inform their employees about these websites, and could face potential fines of up to $100 per worker per day.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s website has guidelines on what is required under the Affordable Care Act. In addition, they have resources for companies that currently offer insurance and those that currently do not.
These resources can be used or modified to serve as compliant notification to employees.
Want to make sure you’re prepared?
The Affordable Care Act will impact business owners across the nation. The Robin Weingast team is ready to assist you and to make sure your healthcare plan is compliant, up-to-date, and still a powerful tool for attracting the most talented staff. Contact us today and we can help you navigate Obamacare.