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.
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.
With the waters of healthcare becoming murkier every day, employers and employees abdicate many of the cost-auditing responsibilities regarding their healthcare to their insurance company. Unfortunately, placing this level of trust in your company’s health insurance carrier leaves the proverbial fox to mind the hen house.
Those who purchase health coverage through a commercial provider mistakenly believe their insurance company is actively advocating for them and monitoring the costs incurred for healthcare services. While this is far from the case, the shocking part of this reality is that the insurance companies are forcing you to pay more than you should for your company's coverage.
My two older boys, ages 9 and 10, are playing ‘kid pitch’ baseball this year. Believe it or not, when I asked them what position they wanted to play, they both said “Dad, I want to be the pitcher”.
Then we asked each player on the team what position they wanted to play and each and every player said “Pitcher”. On paper this is not strange, as this is the most glorified position in baseball. After all, they make the most money, get the most publicity (when they are good), and seem to have the biggest fan base.
The other coaches and I talked to our 13-man roster about how important every position is on the team and how every position contributes to the overall goal. We teach them that they all have to play together to win.
The Affordable Care Act is in full swing.
I think I’ve heard that question from business owners a million times in the past few weeks.
If my mom only knew.
When I was younger, my parents would encourage (mandate) that I help them in the family garden out back. However, that really cut into my wiffle ball playing/tree-climbing/insect-torturing summertime. I came up with every excuse in the book to get out of it. I was told it was good exercise and that the vegetables we grew were healthier and better for me than anything we bought at the grocery store. I didn’t care. I was a kid. I hated vegetables.
Now we appear to have come full circle. Not only are gardens making appearances in the suburbs, they’re also starting to dot cityscapes and in a surprising twist, corporate campuses.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- Losing good employees to competitors.
- A cranky work environment.
- Excessive workplace injuries.
- Out-of-control healthcare costs.
- Ridiculously high unemployment insurance costs.
When an employee calls to say they woke up feeling like death warmed over, do you have to tell them to drag their butt to work because your company doesn’t have a Sick Time Policy? Or when you receive vacation requests, do you have to think twice about how to track it because your Time Off Policy is so complex? Unfortunately, many would answer yes to these questions because of inefficient Paid Time Off (PTO) Policies.