August 16, 2017 8:00 AM
Towards the end of July, the Republican Party made a couple of attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. When the Senate couldn’t pull together a consensus on a replacement bill, they moved forward with a straight repeal bill. Both attempts failed.
Where does that leave a business owner who’s trying to figure what to do about healthcare? Two recent articles help shed a little light on what to expect.
June 4, 2017 8:00 AM
When the Affordable Care Act passed in late 2010, one of the major tenets of the plan was the creation of healthcare exchanges in every state. These exchanges would be state-run with federal seed money used to create them. People who didn’t have coverage or had unaffordable coverage through their employers would be able to buy subsidized plans at a comparatively low cost.
The exchanges began with the implementation of the ACA in 2014. Of the 50 states, 23 of them were run by the federal government. In late 2015, it was reported that 12 of the 23 federally-run state exchanges were shutting down due to unsustainable losses. In some areas, things have gotten worse.
April 25, 2017 8:00 AM
There are growing signs that the economy is improving. Perhaps the most notable marker is that more people are starting to come back to the workforce. The unemployment rate is continuing a downward trend, meaning that more employers are starting to hire again.
Of course, finding good employees is important to a company’s growth, but keeping their best employees is vital to an employer’s productivity. Keeping your best employees ensures a smoother transition for newer employees and keeps the job environment stable with their most seasoned employees.
Of course, with a growing job market, sometimes a company’s best employees begin looking at this as an opportunity to “test the waters” of their own value and see if there are better options. How does a small business owner retain good employees while attracting qualified candidates? By offering benefits.
January 17, 2017 8:00 AM
Back in June of 2016, I wrote a blog that talked about some of the changes that were being planned over at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As 2017 kicks off, there’s more to talk about.
According to an interview in Smart Business, there are some distinctions that may have slipped under the radar for some small business owners.
January 13, 2017 8:00 AM
As a sales rep for a Professional Employer Organization, I have spent the last four years talking with business owners who were worried about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their businesses and employees. In many cases, I helped them find a cost-effective solution that helped them gain control of one of their most uncontrollable costs. Sometimes, I didn’t. Sometimes, the uncertainty of the previous two election cycles caused them to freeze up, maintain their status quo and hope for the best.
Now, we are about to embark on the Donald Trump era. For many, this is a sign that the ACA is going away and they can go back to things as they were. Perhaps so, but were things all that great before?
The reality is that it’s impossible to predict with any certainty what will happen in the next 12 months, let alone the next two years. A recent article on Smart Business’ website does have some thoughts on it that I would like to share and expand on.
October 11, 2016 8:00 AM
Don’t look now, but Fall is upon us and we are closer to the start of 2017 than we are the start of 2016.
We have a Presidential election coming up in a few weeks, meaning that there will be a change in the leadership of this country, one way or another. Either way, expectations are running rampant about changes to healthcare plans in 2017 and the compliancy tied to those programs.
October 7, 2016 8:00 AM
In addition to an upcoming national election, we are now quickly approaching open enrollment season for the Affordable Care Act. This is the time of year when people can apply for healthcare coverage through the exchanges and look for income-based subsidies to help them offset some of their insurance costs.
It’s also the time when employees who don’t feel they have an adequate or affordable employer-sponsored health plan may seek out coverage and subsidies through the exchanges. While an employer may be tempted to find relief in one less person to cover (and pay for), there may be some repercussions.
June 2, 2016 8:00 AM
Whether you’re an employer who runs a pretty safe workplace or you’re one with more than its fair share of worker’s comp claims, the Department of Labor has some new rules for you to “nudge” you in the proper direction.
Under a new rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is an effort to modernize its data collection and create a new database for investors and workers alike to learn about how safe a company is. Not a bad idea, but one that leans heavily on small business’ HR departments.
May 3, 2016 8:00 AM
Have you ever seen the old commercial where an actor comes on screen and says, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV?” Well, to paraphrase that tagline, I’m not an attorney, but I like to think that I have some commonsense ideas and understandings.
As an employee, I have always felt reasonably safe and confident that unless I knowingly broke a law, I would be safe from legal repercussions should a former employee or customer go after a business. Makes sense, right? Not so much anymore.
March 29, 2016 8:00 AM
As the Affordable Care Act heads into its third full year of existence (some provisions started before 2014), there doesn’t seem to be any more clarity for business owners and what they should do. If you have 50 or more employees, do you offer it? Do you succumb to the ever increasing costs and drop coverage and pay the penalty? If you’re under 50 employees, should you drop it and get out while you can? Are there any more changes coming down the road that you need to know about? Well, a recent article in New England Journal of Medicine may help shed a little light on things for you.