By Mick Constantinou, Advisor, Employee Benefits
Connelly, Carlisle, Fields, & Nichols, A UBA Partner Firm
The majority of recent conversation related to the legislation (i.e. PPACA, aka health care reform) that was confirmed as law last summer has related to the concept of “Play or Pay” with employers. What has been lost in the conversation, and left on the vine, is the impact to employees and their families.
What has been left on the vine is beginning to ripen to the realities that this summer and 2014 and beyond will bring.
To an even greater degree than with employers, much of an employee’s exposure to the law has been based in knowledge and not wisdom (see The Tomato Paradox of Health Care Reform), with total reliance on what has been politicized in the media or communicated in piecemeal by the various governmental agencies.
This is unfortunate, since at its center, the health care reform bill is an individual mandate and all Americans will fall into one of three categories:
- Those who are exempt from the mandate.
- Those who have qualified health insurance through their employer, individually through the exchanges or through Medicaid.
- Those who are penalized for not falling into category No. 1 or No. 2.
The earlier 2013 conversations with prospects and clients clearly validated the Tomato Paradox. But even more apparent now are the conversations that advisors are having with employees during pre-enrollment and open enrollment meetings. Based on these lively (and sometimes heated) interactions with employees, the impacts of the law (i.e. the ripening) are becoming clear. The uninformed are becoming the informed.
The clarity is in the form of the rate increases many are seeing and the reality check is in the form of, “But I thought health care reform was going to fix all this?”
As with all aspects of health care reform, United Benefit Advisors has been ahead of this changing paradigm and developed a variety of employee-facing communications to support employers in educating employees on the changes the law will bring.
The Partner Firms of United Benefit Advisors stand at the ready to help employers be the “messengers” of change with their workforce and assist them in making the safest landing possible for themselves and their families.
Without this kind of support, it is akin to providing an untrained pilot a picture of the landing strip and expecting them to safely land a plane on a very foggy day.