7 Key Health Care Reforms Topics To Discuss With Your Employees

large_5151764959Health care reform is upon us and October 1st is quickly approaching.  For HR professionals and benefits administrators, that statement very well could have ensued a wave of panic.  During this time of transition and dealing with the very complex health care reform law, it can be difficult to figure out where to start in communicating what your company’s role is in health care.  In this blog, I’m going to list out 7 key reform topics, according to HR Magazine, that are a great starting point when communicating health insurance changes to your employees.

 

  1. State Exchanges – All employers must provide information on the state exchanges by October 1st, 2013.  It is important for employees to know that if they decline employer coverage, they may not be able to buy subsidized coverage through an exchange for the same coverage period.
  2. Play or pay – Don’t wait until the last minute if your employees need to find coverage on the exchange.  Let employees know as soon as possible whether or not you will continue to offer coverage or if you are electing to pay applicable taxes so employees can begin searching for coverage.
  3. Plan-design changes – Openly communicate potentially unfamiliar new plan designs, such as high deductibles and drug limits.
  4. Coverage changes – It is mandated that employers offer coverage to employees and their dependents.  However, spouses are not considered dependents, so coverage for them is optional.
  5. Cost-sharing changes – Your employee’s coverage must be considered affordable, however that same requirement doesn’t exist for dependent coverage.
  6. Medicaid expansion – Check to see if your state has elected to expand Medicaid coverage.  Employees with household incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level may be eligible for Medicaid.
  7. Reduction in regularly scheduled hours – Create transparency if your company has decided to convert full-time positions to part-time positions in order to minimize play-or-pay expenses.

 

Hopefully the above topics give you a good reference point in which to begin the conversation about health care reform with your employees.  If you haven’t talked to them yet, remember that it’s not too late.  You have until October 1st to give them certain pieces of information.  If some of it is bad news, don’t wait until the last minute to deliver it to them.  They will need and appreciate the time to think about their options and prepare for what’s best for their families.

As we go through potentially one of the biggest changes in your career, certain staffing needs may come up.  You’ve got enough on your plate to adequately sift through the hundreds of applicants that want to work at your company.  Contact Serenity Staffing today to help with your staffing needs.  We’ll find qualified candidates, coordinate schedules, and help you find the next valuable employee for your company.  Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn to get our weekly blog updates containing valuable information in the field of HR!