Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Will Healthcare Reform Affect Businesses?

How will healthcare reform affect companies?  We won’t really know until January 1, 2014, when all aspects of the Healthcare Reform bill are set into motion.

How will healthcare reform affect your company?  The answer remains to be seen, but depends on your level of proactivity in strategizing your company's future.

One thing is certain.  If you have over fifty employees, Healthcare Reform will affect you.  Quite a bit.  CEOs are starting to talk about the financial implications – and their inevitable effect on company culture.

Here are some important facts top executives must consider.

1.  If your company employs at least 50 part- or full-time workers, you won’t be required to offer them insurance, strictly speaking.  But if you don’t, and at least one of your full-time employees gets a government subsidy for health insurance, you must pay a $2000 fee for every one of your full-time employees.

2.  If your business offers coverage, you will still have to take extra action to help low- or middle-income workers who want to purchase their own insurance.  You must provide a free choice voucher equal to what your firm would have offered via the company plan.  This voucher applies to employees who make less than 400 percent of the poverty level, which is about $10,800 for an individual and $22,000 for a family of four.

3.  If you employ over 200 people, you must auto-enroll your workers in the plan.

4.  Fees and penalties are not tax deductible.

5.  In addition, insurance benefits must be listed on employees’ W-2 Forms, and you will need to understand complexities such as each employee's entire household income.  The new healthcare law is complex, and the burden of compliance and administration falls on the employer.

With these and other considerations in mind, top executives have taken their heads out of the sand. They're looking the facts in the eye, and developing realistic strategies so that their businesses thrive amid the coming change.

What sort of considerations is your company making with regards to the new health care system?

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