Changes to Small Business Health Insurance
While the number of uninsured persons has dropped in the past five years, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has not been an easy one. Karen Stern, Partner in Charge of the Entrepreneurial Services Group, discusses some issues small employers are facing, in this month’s “Financial Fitness,” as featured in Small Business Monthly.
Staying compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) hasn’t been easy for many small employers. This year employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees had to provide health insurance to at least 95 percent of their full-time employees or face a fine. Even if you were prepared for these changes, you probably faced more compliance and reporting requirements than you anticipated.
Not only has implementation been difficult, legislation surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been modified multiple times since its inception, including the way in which health insurance is made available. Small employers and individuals often receive insurance through an insurance exchange, however, many major insurance companies have stopped offering plans on the exchanges as they have suffered large financial losses.
In addition to fewer insurance options through the exchanges, the issues many small businesses (less than 50 FTEs) are facing as they try to remain compliant include:
- Narrow networks: high-performance, “narrow” networks allow health care plans to preserve benefits and keep premiums affordable while providing a smaller provider network, which may impact an employee’s choice of hospital or physician.
- Higher premiums: insurance premiums have increased, and to help small business owners cover the increased cost, they are forced to shift some of that cost to the employee.
- Increase in compliance reporting: incorrectly reporting health care coverage costs and services covered will result in potentially large fines.
If you have questions about your small business’s insurance options or about remaining compliant with ACA regulations, contact your advisor or Ron Present at email@example.com.