1) This first Post is to provide background on PPACA with Links to valuable information to answer questions for Brokers, Employers and Carriers.
2) The second Post will provide a Workable and Cost-Effective Strategy for Brokers and Employers to deal with PPACA. This will be Posted on next Friday! We wish you a Joy Filled Thanksgiving!
A Little PPACA History -- Since March 3, 2010 when President Obama signed PPACA, the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act, also known as Obamacare - there has been a significant disruption change to the Group and Individual Health Insurance Markets!
With the re-election of President Obama, the changes are now inevitable! Most Carriers, Brokers, Consultants, and Employers had been reluctant to prepare - or implement strategies based on the lengthy PPACA legislation that did not provide many details. Now there is no waiting! Recently the Fed. - utilizing healthcare.gov - published a timeline (http://www.healthcare.gov/
Where We Are Today with PPACA -- A great deal of time and money has been spent by the Insurance and Benefits Industries trying to defeat PPACA! There were only a limited number of Organizations dedicating creative time and expertise on dealing with the implementing of PPACA. The focus has not been on creating strategies coordinated with a set of integrated Benefit/Insurance Plans.
The good news - Some specialists focused on their specific Market Sectors, ie. Individual Plans, Voluntary Plans, Technology, Enrollment, Administration, etc. They were active creating Plans, Programs, and/or Services to take advantage of PPACA.
Healthcare Reform put a focus on only one part of the overall Benefits and Insurance needs of Employees and Individuals - the Health Insurance Component. This focus was a major set-back for Strategic Benefit Planning. A number of constituencies were directly impacted - They included:
Carriers - Were forced to expend their time and energies in deciding whether or not to produce PPACA compliant Health Plans for Groups and Individuals.
Carriers - Were forced to focus on the new Medical Loss Ratios (MLRs). The following is a Link to Federal MLR Guidelines (http://www.healthcare.gov/
Brokers - Were forced to abandon or restructure their business plans as Health Insurance Carriers dramatically reduced commissions on traditional Group Health Plans to assist in compliance with MLR. An AISHealth/Health Plan Week Article (http://aishealth.com/
Brokers - Were forced to continually take a "Wait and See" position for the Supreme Court Ruling and then the Election in making recommendations to their Employer Groups and Individuals. While Brokers hoped to avoid the disruptive changes caused by PPACA, most new it was inevitable. The dilemma was simple - What to do? Employee Benefit Advisor described this dilemma in an article by Nelson Griswold on September 1, 2012 titled "2014: Will your agency be ready?"
Smaller Employers - Became reluctant to offer Health Insurance to their Employees or started to consider dropping their exiting plans. With the details of PPACA unclear - and with a threat of additional plan costs - Employers saw offering Benefits as a threat to staying in business. Health Reform.com addressed these issues in a study titled "Helping The Bottom Line - Health Reform And Small Business (http://www.healthreform.gov/
Smaller Employers - The original PPACA provided limited details on Exchanges, Tax Credits, and Penalties applying to a Small Business grappling with offering Health Insurance Plans to their Employees. Healthcare.gov in a news release titled "Small Business and the Affordable Care Act" provides details on how "The health care law provides tax credits and soon - the ability to shop for insurance in Exchanges..."
Larger Employers - Became equally confused about the ramifications of continuing to offer Health Insurance Benefits to Employees. The law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP published a lengthy outline about the effects of PPACA titled "Summary of Changes Affecting Employers Under the PPACA - Amended". While helpful - this outline demonstrates the need for a Strategic Benefit Plan.
Larger Employers - Who prefer longer-term Strategic Benefit Plans were confused by the potential penalties under PPACA with its lack of details. The Congressional Research Service provided the following clarifications titled "Summary of Potential Employer Penalties Under PPACA (P.L. 111-148 (http://www.ltgov.ri.gov/
What's Next? -- It's time for Carriers, Brokers, and Employers to take action! Our next Post - "PART 2 - HOW TO CONQUER PPACA/OBAMACARE - A BATTLE PLAN FOR BROKERS, EMPLOYERS AND CARRIERS" will outline Workable, Efficient, and Cost-Effective Strategies for Brokers and Employers to deal with PPACA/Obamacare for the 2013 Plan Year and Beyond. These Strategies that can be integrated or stand alone include:
Private Exchanges (http://www.benefitplace.biz/
Defined Contribution (http://www.benefitplace.biz/
Integrated Benefit Choices (http://www.benefitplace.biz/
Integrated Support Technologies - For Employee Education, Communication, Enrollment and Data Distribution Management!
Inbound Marketing (http://www.benefitplace.biz/
Working with Strategic Partners we have developed this Integrated Five Component Strategy. Each of the above parts can be utilized on a stand alone basis or integrated to maximize the opportunities. Visit our Introductory Chart (http://www.benefitplace.biz/
If you would like to discuss becoming a Strategic Partner by assisting in providing one of the above components, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have Questions, Suggestions, or Comments please Email - email@example.com or Call 216.577.5579. We invite you to Join our Linkedin Groups, Insurance Forum (http://linkedin.com/