To help companies navigate the twists and turns of new health coverage mandates, human resources consulting firm Findley Davies created a step-by-step guide. The Health Care Reform Path to Compliance is a timeline intended to cover the highlights of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as it relates to employers and employees. The compliance path resembles a game board with deadlines from 2012 to 2018 and beyond.
Key target dates include:
- July 31, 2013 – Excise tax due for the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute ($1/member for the 2012 year. $2/member for 2013);
- October 1, 2013 – Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange) to start enrolling individuals and small employers;
- January 1, 2014 – Individuals must buy health coverage or pay a tax; and
- January 1, 2014 – Employer shared responsibility, also known as pay or play rules, kicks in along with the full-time equivalent (FTE) definition.
According to Bruce Davis, Health and Benefits Group practice leader for Findley Davies, the biggest dilemma right now is whether smaller companies will provide health insurance for employees and their dependents, as opposed to having employees shop for coverage on the exchanges. “Employers are waiting to see what the exchanges will cost versus the penalties they will pay for not providing coverage. Companies need to consider that those penalties will increase and are not tax deductible compared to contributions to employee benefit plans, which are tax deductible,” he said.
“We remind employers that this is more of a work force issue. Ultimately, health coverage will play a role in employee retention and competitiveness. There’s a lot to be decided here,” Davis added.The guide can be downloaded from here.