Understanding the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Employers

Understanding the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on EmployersUnderstanding the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Employers

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as the Healthcare Reform or Obamacare, has changed the landscape of the healthcare industry, causing confusion amongst individuals as well as employers offering group benefits. The most important thing to remember is that the intent of the Act is to ensure all Americans have access to affordable health insurance. Once this legislation is fully implemented, all Americans will be required to have health insurance through either a public program such as Medicaid or Medicare, by purchasing coverage from a state-based health insurance exchange, or by buying it through their employer.

As to how the Act will impact employers, it differs depending on the size of your business or organization. The ACA requires large employers to provide health insurance to their employees, or be subject to penalties and fees. The new laws being implemented by the Act are not expected to make too much of a difference to large employers (those with 100+ employees), since they typically already offer insurance to their staff. However, they will need to look over their health plans and potentially adjust features in order to comply with the ACA provisions that will take full effect in 2018.

Small employers, or those with less than 50 employees, will not face any new requirements. However, they are encouraged to provide coverage in exchange for tax credits. Medium sized businesses (50-100 employees), like small businesses, will have access to Health Options Program Exchanges. But unlike small businesses, medium sized businesses could face financial penalties if they don’t offer healthcare plans, or if the plans they offer to their full-time employees do not meet the ACA’s established standards for affordability and minimum value.

The good news for businesses that are at risk of facing penalties is that they won’t be enforced until 2015. This is a year later than originally scheduled, giving business owners time to assess their plan and their needs moving forward. At Barnes Insurance Agency, we not only offer Sevier County Health Insurance, but we specialize in helping both our individual and business clients navigate through the new provisions under the Affordable Healthcare Act, and help them understand what it means for them as an individual or an employer. We will continue to bring our customers information about this important issue that affects all Americans. In the meantime, please visit our Sevier County Insurance Exchange page for more information on the Healthcare Reform, or contact us at (866) 733- 5424.

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