There are lots of opinions on whether or not the Affordable Care Act will benefit small businesses, and their employees. Depending on where you live, where you work, and your financial situation; opinions seem to vary greatly. One thing seems clear; many small businesses are seeing larger than normal increases in 2014, affecting the business and their employees. Now the question becomes, what can you do as a business owner to deal with the increases without impacting the business or the employees in a negative way? Here are some tips to consider:
- Make sure you have a great partner to help you. Whether you work with a traditional health insurance broker, a PEO (Professional Employer Organization), an ASO (Administrative Service Organization) or something in-between, make sure that they are being proactive in managing your health insurance. The rules keep changing, and new, innovative ideas keep popping up, but if you partner is not in the know, you could be missing out. Is your partner keeping you informed and suggesting alternatives for you to consider? If not, you need to find a new partner.
- Keep an open mind. One positive to come from the Affordable Care Act is new ideas. Rising costs and increased regulations have created new and innovative strategies for health insurance. It’s important to keep an open mind, and ask your employees to do the same. We can’t continue offering the same old plans without expecting huge increases and in some cases, penalties. Many business owners are moving towards new plan designs, new cost sharing strategies and even new carriers. Being closed minded today could cost you more than ever.
- Don’t panic. If you believe everything you hear about the Affordable Care Act it would be easy to panic. There are many opinions out there, and the ones that get the most attention seem to be those that paint the worst picture. With proper planning and research, you can find a solution that works for you and your employees. While there is a fair amount of confusion, and there appear to be larger increases for many businesses, the Affordable Care Act isn’t bad for everyone. Some businesses and individuals might even find more affordable options available to them through the ACA.
- Be careful! The ACA can seem overwhelming and we have seen some business owners “bury their heads in the sand” and make any adjustments based on the ACA. This can be very dangerous. By ignoring the ACA you could be putting yourself in harm’s way. Depending on your employee count, the health insurance plans you offer, the amount you contribute and your employee’s ability to afford coverage; you could be setting yourself up for large increases and significant penalties under the ACA.
Opinions vary on whether or not the Affordable Care Act will be a good or bad thing for businesses in the long run. One thing is certain. Those businesses who have strong partners, an open mind, and plan ahead, will have a much easier time dealing with everything the ACA has in store.
For more information on how the ACA will affect your small business, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at AskUs@genesishrsolutions.com or 800-367-8367.
Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.