The Affordable Care Act goes into effect at the end of this year.  This sweeping healthcare reform will have large ramifications for small businesses.  Companies with fewer than 50 employees do not have to take part in the ACA, but do have to inform their employees about the Act.  The Act provides “affordable” insurance to all.  Those working within a company with fewer than 50 employees will have options based on workers age, geography and smoking history as opposed to being based on employee’s medical history.  Employees and individuals will be able to buy from state run “exchanges”, offering many different coverage’s.

Companies with more than 50 employees will have to provide affordable healthcare coverage that meets certain standards, or be subject to fines.  Companies will have to make a decision on how they handle the ACA.  Some companies are taking a wait and see attitude.  Probably not a bad idea, but some preliminary planning still must be done.  The Hartford has suggested the following for companies to plan for the changes:

1)      Updating your employee manual to include information on the ACA, based on your company size.  It will be important for companies close to the 50 employee cut line to pay attention to employee count and ramifications of crossing over 50.

2)      Plan seminars for employees and managers so that everyone is educated on the Act

3)      Full time verses part time employees make a difference in the Act.  Now is a good time to consider employee classifications.

4)      The Department of Labor has released new information pertaining to Family and Medical Leave Act.  It is imperative that your company is in compliance.

5)      Give serious consideration to hiring a third party human resources company to do your payroll, benefits and training.

You can read more from the Hartford here.

There is going to be a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding moving forward in regards to the ACA.  We at RMIA will help you through the clutter to give you the best coverage you can get and to keep you in compliance.  Call us today to learn more.

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