There is now less than a year for companies to decide on the employee benefit options they wish to provide.
With New Year’s Day behind us, there is now less than one year before the heart of the healthcare reforms go into effect, causing companies to need to take a serious look at the health insurance benefits that they intend to offer once January 1, 2014 comes around.
The overhaul to the system and the coverage laws will reshape the way American employers offer benefits.
After the healthcare reforms go into effect, American employers who have a minimum of 50 full time workers will face financial penalties if they do not provide those employees with health insurance benefits. This will be coming at the same time that the “individual mandate” portion of the laws will be causing individuals and families to seek out their own coverage to avoid their own penalties.
The health insurance exchanges in each state will help individuals and small businesses to obtain affordable coverage.
However, those marketplaces are not designed for the larger employers who have at least 50 employees. Many of these companies are concerned over the costs that will be connected with providing health insurance to a larger number of workers – potentially providing coverage for the first time.
That said, for the average larger employer, the penalties for not providing health insurance benefits to their workers are lower than the typical cost of the coverage. This is causing many companies to have to decide which circumstance is better for them: paying for the medical plans or opting out and paying the penalties.
Many employers are seeking to take part in a number of more moderate strategies that will allow them to limit their expenses while still providing some health insurance benefits. Whatever their choice, the decisions will need to have been made before next fall. It is at that time that the benefits enrollment will usually begin. This is also the time that the new exchanges are set to begin their operation.
The companies that are already providing health insurance benefits that meet the minimum standards of the healthcare law will experience a very limited impact by these changes. It is the businesses not yet offering coverage that will experience the largest change.