Thousands of employers celebrated when the Senate voted to approve the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 and when the IRS announced it was delaying the 2016 Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting requirements.
According to the Galen Institute (a not-for-profit health and tax policy research organization) more than 51 significant changes have been made to the Patient Protection and ACA.
False Sense of Reality?
The delays are great and provide employers with much needed breathing room. However, the breathing room is nothing more than a false sense of reality if employers procrastinate versus devise a strategy. The reality is that time flies, and the new deadlines will be here before we know it.
The Dangers of Procrastination
Even if your next open enrollment window is months away and some delays (i.e. the Cadillac Tax) are years away, premiums are still on the rise, compliance regulations are growing more complex, and insurance companies are forced to pass along plan changes to consumers. Unfortunately, many employers are in the habit of waiting to take action until the insurance company or government forces a change — this wait and see approach can be costly, disruptive and time consuming.
Although the future of the ACA is unknown, changing regulations are to be expected. While each business has a unique mission, all successful companies must possess a sense of fiscal responsibility. On the surface, fiscal responsibility means keeping the company out of the red and ideally making a profit. However, it also means recruiting and retaining the right talent, avoiding costly fines, strategic tax planning, developing efficient internal systems, and the list goes on. Insurance is one of the top expenses for a company — don’t wait to develop a plan until the 90-day window before the government or insurance company mandates a change.
Strategy vs. Scrambling
If you have not already done so, schedule some time with your leadership team to identify (or validate) the key objectives for the year. The ACA should be on the list of topics, but so should other HR, financial and operational goals. After you have identified company goals, identify three to five benefit consultants and interview them about their resources and process for supporting your corporate objectives. To learn more about OneDigital’s planning process contact your OneDigital Health & Benefits Consultant or visit our website at www.onedigital.com