Are the ACA Exchanges Collapsing?

by Andrew SzczesniakJune 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.

Image of healthcare exchanges. Learn about self-insured health care plans.


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Third Party Administration

Advantages of a Professional Employer Organization: Compliance

by Tim AustinMarch 3, 2017 8:00 AM

As a business owner, you get to make the rules in  your own company. However, there are still plenty of regulations and laws that can impact your business.

It can be difficult for owners to keep track of every single rule and avoid non-compliance costs when they’re  busy, well, running a business. That’s why it can pay to invest in human resource outsourcing through a Professional Employer Organization. A PEO can help your business stay in line with complicated regulations to help you keep your HR functions in order. Here are areas  where a PEO can help save you some money.

Image of compliance needs for a business. Learn how human resorce outsourcing with a PEO can help with compliance.


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Grab Bag

How will the ACA impact your business in 2017?

by Andrew SzczesniakJanuary 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.

Image of the ACA. Learn about how the ACA may affect businesses in 2017.




Have you Received an ACA Notice?

by Andrew SzczesniakOctober 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.

Image of an ACA notice for an applicable large employer.




Employers and the ACA

by Andrew SzczesniakMarch 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.

GMS provides Affordable Care Act guidance for businesses.



Human Resources

Low-income Earners and the ACA

by Andrew SzczesniakOctober 29, 2015 8:00 AM

In January of 2016, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will begin to directly impact businesses with between 50-99 employees. While health insurance rates have been impacting business owners since the start of the ACA several years ago, those companies with 50-99 employees haven’t had to offer healthcare or face a fine. That’s changing in a couple of months.

The interesting thing about the ACA is that the very people it is supposed to help, low income workers, seem to be the ones least interested getting their healthcare, even when it’s offered by their employers.

Offering coverage and the Affordable Care Act.



Risk Management

Are You Ready to Comply with the Affordable Care Act

by Andrew SzczesniakJune 4, 2015 8:00 AM

In January of this year, the Federal Government began enforcement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for those employers with 100 or more employees. Next year, those employers with 50 or more employees will have to begin compliance with the law as well.

In a recent article on, HR managers in large companies talked about the difficulties in compliance when it comes to calculating hours. What was troublesome for them was people who took unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Re-employment Rights Act or even jury duty and how those hours would be calculated in determining healthcare eligibility. Because of that, “60 percent of large companies with more than 1,000 employees indicated that they aren’t prepared for penalty management under the ACA.”

Every business needs to prepare for the effects of the Affordable Care Act.

Photo Credit:  “Affordable Care Act” by Michael Havens is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0



Human Resources

Affordable Care Act Timeline: What You Need to Know for Your Small Business

by Tim AustinDecember 17, 2013 8:36 AM

Maneuvering through federal rules and tax regulations has never been an easy task, especially when you are simultaneously trying to grow your business. The Affordable Care Act makes those waters murkier to navigate with the various stages of implementation and rules for different sized companies. 

As a small or medium sized business owner, there are some significant dates to keep in mind in 2014 as the Affordable Care Act begins to take effect. 



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Self-Insured Plans: An Alternative to Government Healthcare

by Tim AustinNovember 26, 2013 1:21 PM

The news channels are flooded with updates on the trials and tribulations of the Affordable Care Act's website and accompanying registration process. Politics aside, the implementation of this piece of legislation could mean big changes and larger financial challenges for your health benefits plan.

Most small business owners today are able to provide some form of health insurance coverage for their employees through large commercial healthcare plans. However, with the Affordable Care Act, these plans will come at a cost for business owners. In fact, Ohio businesses are expected to see a 71% increase in these premiums. 

These high increases may force you to reduce or eliminate the health benefits you are able to extend to your employees, forcing them to buy insurance from the government’s healthcare marketplace.


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Benefits | Third Party Administration

What About the Individual Mandate?

by Andrew SzczesniakAugust 7, 2013 10:00 AM

President Obama’s administration has decided to delay enforcement of one of the key provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): the Employer Mandate.

Mark Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, posted on the White House’s Treasury blog on July 2. In this post, he announced that the administration has decided to postpone enforcement of the Employer Mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act by a full year.


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