If you thought that the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, was confusing, you are about to enter a period of even greater confusion as the incoming administration makes major changes to the nation’s laws on healthcare reform. During his campaign, President Elect Donald Trump vowed to immediately repeal Obamacare, but in the days following his unexpected victory, Mr. Trump has stated some of the ACA would remain intact. If you aren’t confused now, you will be going forward. As an employer, how are you expected to keep up with these changes? Here’s a bit of advice that just might help.
Appoint One Person to Follow the News
One thing you can be assured of is that nothing happens overnight in Washington, D.C. In fact, nothing on earth moves slower than bureaucracy so any changes probably won’t be implemented in the first few months of the new administration, or even within the first year. As the owner or director of a business, you probably don’t have the time to follow the news on what Congress or the President are doing about the ACA.
However, what you can do is to appoint one key person to follow any news updates as they are released. Once there is a timeframe in place for any major changes, it’s time to talk to your current insurance company, as they will have someone with a health law degree. Alternatively, speak to your business’ attorney, who probably has a team member with an updated health policy degree such as this one.
Once Changes Are Announced
If you are currently contracted with a healthcare insurer, they will need to notify you in writing when changes are imminent. Unfortunately, if history holds true to form, they will inform you of any legal obligations they have while trying to hold onto your business. This may, or may not, be the best option for you depending on a number of factors, which obviously would include the number of employees you have at the moment.
What you can do, and probably should do, is contact your business’ attorney who is knowledgeable about healthcare law and will be in the best position to advise you what your options are. Some accountants are also certified in healthcare law as well because taxes are largely impacted by expenses, one of the biggest being healthcare insurance.
Remember – Nothing Happens Overnight
Keep in mind that all of the possible changes will not happen overnight. That just isn’t the way things are done in politics so you will have ample time to make any changes to your company insurance long before new laws go into effect. If you can remember when Obamacare was first written into law, changes occurred over a period of years and are still occurring to this day.
The one thing you can be absolutely sure of is that there will be change of some kind. As Mr. Trump has said repeatedly, the Affordable Care Act just isn’t affordable anymore, and really never has been. To this end, he intends to work towards coverage that is not only affordable but more inclusive. For now, it’s a waiting game so don’t worry just yet. You’ll have plenty of time to get used to any new laws, if and when they are written.