In the wake of the past few years’ sweeping changes to the health care landscape, employers were hopeful that there would be a little less change in 2016. However, change was the name of the game in 2016. The implementation of new employer reporting obligations, clarifications on nondiscrimination in plan provisions, the election of a new President and Congress, and new interpretations and regulations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its coordination with other laws was plenty to keep employers busy.
Stepping into 2017, the Presidential platform supporting the repeal and replacement of the ACA ensures that we will once again see a year with change. The House and Senate are already gearing up with the introduction of new bills and actions.
Since the Presidential election this past November, committees have been working hard studying various repeal options, gathering factual information on the performance of various ACA provisions, and learning how specific repeal provision will impact the health care industry.
We expect to see a lot of activity this first quarter starting with the identification of the specific ACA provisions to be a part of the first wave of the repeal. The Senate is preparing to introduce this through a budget reconciliation process. While they reconcile the future of this law, other governmental agencies will still move forward ensuring compliance with the ACA and other laws as they exist today. Employers should be vigilant and make sure to comply with all the current rules.
OneDigital provides you with a dual focus. First, to help you understand all the laws that govern employer health plans, including ACA and ERISA as well as the responsibilities that relate to your benefits program so that you may remain compliant with the laws of today. Second, we focus on the future to understand the changes ahead and keep you up-to-speed on the developments as they unfold.
Regardless of the changes to come, there are still a number of areas employers will need to mindful of to ensure they are remaining compliant. Here are some tools and services to help you start off 2017 with compliance confidence:
- Our new 2017 Health Care Reform Handbook includes the latest information and deadlines for the year. You can access the Handbook here.
- Our first quarter compliance checklist will help you organize and administer your benefit program compliance obligations. Access the checklist here.
- 2017 compliance calendar. We will present regular seminars to provide you with important compliance details. In addition to the scheduled series, we will conduct various ACA seminars to track the upcoming changes in the law and their effect on your benefits program. You will receive separate notifications for these as they become available. You can access the list and enrollment links for our webinar series here.
The future of the ACA may be unclear, however our expertise and ability to navigate on your behalf is far from uncertain. Count on us to continue to stand as your trusted advisor in 2017 and beyond as we provide you with expertise, advice, and peace of mind on this health care journey.