Is it true? Could it be? Was there really a bill just passed that actually makes this whole health care reform transition a little more affordable for small group employers to compete in this healthcare game? On March 31, 2014, President Obama’s decision to sign Bill HR4302 gave hope to business owners around the country, that they could continue to offer medical insurance coverage to their employees, without having to take a loan out to cover the huge financial burden.
It is increasingly clear that now, more than ever, there are many compliance burdens for employers as a result of the healthcare reform laws, particularly for small employers. As more and more of its provisions are implemented, small employers are becoming increasingly anxious about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will impact hiring, what the compliance costs will be and whether or not they should continue to provide employee benefits altogether. Our government should take the necessary action needed to minimize the additional employer responsibility and financial burdens. On January 1, 2014, PPAA prevented small business employers with deductibles greater than $2,000 per individual and $4,000 per family. Of course, this inhibited the ability for small business employers to offer higher deductible health plans, the same plans that are currently suitable for Americans to have across the country. With healthcare coverage now mandatory for most individuals in the United States, the ability for small businesses to offer insurance, even though they are not required to as an employer paid benefit, is one way to recruit and retain staff members within their organization. But just because something may ‘make sense’ to do, does not mean that it makes ‘business sense’… mainly it has to be affordable and make financial sense for a company to be able to provide those benefits.
Therefore President Obama signing this bill was a step in the right direction towards creating way for small business owners to same quality of benefits that their employees could get in individual plans, but in a group insurance benefit. Along with preventing the automatic cuts to physician Medicare payments, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 included a significant modification to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including a section that ends the limitations on deductibles that were set at $2,000/individual and $4,000/family within the ACA on small group employer sponsored health plans, and made the effective date retroactive to the original enactment of the ACA. This bill originated and was passed in the House of Representatives last week, and then passed by the Senate yesterday evening before sending the bill to the President for his signature.
If you are a business owner that would like to either explore what it would look like to offer group benefits to your employees, or you would like to see if the current rates you are receiving are the best possible for your particular group, you can contact G&A Partners for a complimentary analysis. G&A Partners uses innovative strategies to provide businesses of all sizes with the same benefit packages available to the fortune 500 companies, and at an extremely affordable rate. Find out more by calling Andraya Carson at 480-229-3363.