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Healthcare Reform: What You Need to Know

Print and broadcast journalists—as well as so-called experts—have expended plenty of energy focusing on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and how it will affect small businesses. The fact is, there’s not a lot of clarity today about the long-term picture…but that doesn’t mean you can’t be doing something now to get prepared for what may happen.

We’re getting ready. Our team is focused on staying ahead of the curve, educating ourselves about the new regulations that may be implemented and positioning ourselves to serve as an invaluable resource for clients once the dust has settled.

What can you do? If you don’t have a relationship with a broker or agent, we suggest you initiate one. It’s a smart move to build trust before you find yourself in a “fire drill” situation. By establishing a partnership, when it’s time to make decisions, you’ll be comfortable taking advice from your chosen expert.

If you already have a broker or agent, but that person hasn’t communicated with you in a while, this is an excellent opportunity to reestablish your connection and see how he/she is preparing for the changes healthcare reform may bring. Depending on the answer you receive, you may feel it’s time to seek a new relationship.

Our clients are being kept up to speed with healthcare reform developments, and we’ve provided them with a Healthcare Reform Timetable so they’re aware of what’s scheduled to occur. This year, for example, the items on the timetable are:

  • Coverage reporting on W-2s
  • Uniform explanation of coverage
  • Pre-enrollment document
  • 60-day notice of material modifications

We really don’t know what the new law will look like beyond the next two years, so all we can do right now is ensure our clients are prepared for the changes that are right in front of them.

Before 2014, when the lion’s share of PPACA regulations take effect, it will be critical to understand how the law affects your business and what options and alternatives you have. You’ll also be responsible for passing along relevant information to your employees, who’ll be directly affected by the legislation and how you choose to respond to it. Systematic problems are bound to occur—as they do with anything new—but we’re ready to help our clients navigate through issues and challenges.

The takeaway from this for small business owners is rather simple: your best bet with respect to healthcare reform is to make sure you’re partnering with an experienced broker or agent you trust. This person can provide you with PPACA updates and offer informed guidance to help you make the right choices for your business. Please let us know if we can be of service.

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