The ball is rolling….October 1 and Health Care Reform is here!
Sitting in an Arkansas BlueCross Blue Shield small employer seminar a few weeks ago, the realization set in that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was being implemented and that the way businesses currently buy health care insurance for either themselves or their employees will forever be changed.
While I had been continually bombarded in the past few years and more recently in the past two months with notices and rulings via email along with numerous webinars and countless seminars regarding the changes, it was sitting in a room filled with other small group plans and hearing the questions and concerns that they were voicing that it finally hit me: good, bad or otherwise, the ball was rolling!
Whether or not you were pro or anti-Obamacare really doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that businesses need to get ready before January 1 and have a plan in place regarding their employee (as well as their own) health care. There are so many pieces to this puzzle that it would almost take someone with an advanced degree to figure out the information, not the mention the amount of time spent reading, calculating costs, and issuing health care notices regarding the state exchanges.
Having a grandfathered plan, my assumption was there would be less paperwork involved with the health care law. That is not the case. There are still forms and individual notices to be filled out (and filled out correctly or big fines will be given!). I can only imagine the paperwork involved with a small business that has a large number of employees.
My words of advice to small businesses not knowing what to do or where to turn would be to ask other businesses what they are doing and if they are working with a corporate benefits company. The chamber has several members on our website (www.rogerslowell.com) that can help you make this transition as smooth as possible.
Something I have remembered from my business law class in college...”ignorance of the law is no excuse.”
So get ready, because the ball is rolling and Health Care Reform is here.