If your small business is looking to attract top-level talent in your workforce, one way to help ensure your ability to find and keep employees is by offering a competitive benefit package. This may, however, present a challenge as you try to manage your operating costs. In the past, you may have looked to save money by offering your staff healthcare benefits through an employer payment plan. This may have allowed you to only pay for employees who had health insurance. Yet that all changed with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.
Changes Imposed by the Affordable Care Act
As you may or may not know, the market reforms introduced by the Act included classifying health care reimbursement employee benefits as group health plans. As such, they then became subject to two major stipulations under the Public Health Services Act:
- Eliminate annual or lifetime limits on health benefits.
- To cover preventative care services without requiring employee cost sharing.
If any of your benefits carry these stipulations, that ACA made your plan non-compliant.
Now, not being an expert on the health insurance market (and without a dedicated health plan provider to guide you), you may not have been aware of such changes nor the potential penalties that may be imposed upon you for your continued non-compliance. Exactly what consequences may your company face for continuing to stick to health care reimbursement employee benefits? How about fines of $100/per employee enrolled in your plan per day? That’s what the law allows under the IRS excise tax.
Relief Provided for Non-Compliant Plans
Fortunately, the ACA also extended a lifeline to you and other companies offering health care reimbursement employee benefits. That came in the form of transition relief that allowed you to continue offering your current benefits without the fear of penalties through June 30, 2015. That time was meant for you to find alternatives that would allow you to bring your employee benefit plan into compliance. Of course, if this is the first you’re hearing of this, you’re well past that date. However, the 21st Century Cures Act extended that relief until the end of 2016.
As you now find yourself right up against that deadline, the time to implement changes to your benefits is now. Offer employee health insurance benefits with the added advantage of industry insights to allow you to avoid missing out on the knowledge that may have put you in this predicament in the first place. That’s what you get with group health insurance plan through Sackett & Associates Insurance Services. For more information on how to implement group health insurance coverage for your business, contact us at (707)823-3689. Make sure to stay up to date on all health insurance and employee benefits news by subscribing to our blog.