4 Things to Consider About Health Insurance After the Affordable Care Act Comes Into Play
The Affordable Care Act has been one of the most controversial and hotly debated topics to have ever come out of Washington D.C., but despite all of the opposition, come January 1, 2014, healthcare reform will go into effect. Love it or hate it, the Affordable Care Act will undoubtedly have an impact on how small businesses choose, buy, and manage their healthcare plans.
But, what exactly do entrepreneurs need to do to ensure that they are getting adequate coverage for their employees without it costing them an excess in premiums? Here are four important things that every entrepreneur needs to consider once the Affordable Care Act comes into play.
#1 – Private Market Options Are Still Available
One of the most commonly used terms in association with healthcare reform is “exchanges.” Healthcare exchanges are online warehouses where employers and consumers can go to purchase affordable health insurance. But it is important to know that as touted as they are, healthcare exchanges are not going to be the only option available.
Private market options will still exist in the post-healthcare reform world, and for many businesses, the private market may offer the solutions they are looking for. Before settling on a plan that’s offered through a healthcare exchange, do your research and compare those plans with others on the private market so you can get the best coverage for the best price.
#2 – Use a Broker Who Is Appointed on the State Exchanges
If you are unsure about your options, then choose a broker who is appointed on the state exchanges. This type of broker has the ability and authority to offer healthcare options from both the state exchanges and the private market. Because of this, an appointed broker will be better able to help you compare and choose the plan that works best for your business.
If you decide to purchase insurance on your own, then you assume all of the responsibility and run the risk of choosing a plan that might not meet all of the needs of your employees.
#3 – Ensure Your Business Is Compliant
Once the Affordable Care Act comes into play, it will be crucial for small businesses to be compliant with the plan’s requirements. Failing to do so can place your business at risk of costly fines and penalties, and in some cases, even lawsuits. Talk with your broker and payroll service to help ensure that all of your obligations are properly met.
#4 – Analyze Your Insurance Plan for Accuracy
When setting up your insurance plan, everything needs to be accurate and compliant. Therefore, the employees you list on your healthcare plan need to match those on your payroll, benefits packages, and workers’ compensation policy. The company’s information and contact details also need to be consistent among the policies. Lastly, you should conduct a thorough inventory of your insurance plan’s coverage options to ensure that your plan covers the needs of your employees to the fullest possible extent.