BenefitsEngaged Workforce

Healthcare Reform Delay, Hurray? – 7/10

In spite of the delayed employer mandate, employers still face questions, reports Mercer.
 
Companies no longer have to worry about avoiding employer shared responsibility penalties in 2014, but they’re not completely off the hook. In spite of the delay of the penalties until 2015, many employers will still begin making changes sooner rather than later.
 
 
According to Mercer, in 2014, employers can expect a 2 to 3 percent increase in health plan costs from new fees, changes in plan design, and expected increases in enrollment. Organizations should expect these increased costs even if they push back plans to extend coverage to all employees working 30 or more hours per week. In the longer term, employers must begin working toward avoiding the excise tax on high-cost plans that is set to take effect in 2018. In a recent Mercer survey, more than one third of respondents claimed to be taking steps in 2014 to lower these costs four years down the road.
 
 
Another challenge employers must face is explaining the coming changes to their employees. In Mercer’s May survey, half of employers were worried about how to handle employee questions related to public exchanges, while 43 percent were concerned about creating processes and frameworks for interacting with the exchanges. While companies have welcomed the delay, they still must work to help employees understand both the need for health coverage and the employer and public options for that coverage.
 

Tags: Benefits, Engaged Workforce

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