Do you know how the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will impact your company? You had better.
As a solution provider, you do many things well. You are the lynchpin in the IT supply chain and are a critical component to helping customers compete more effectively and operate more efficiently—all the through the use of new technologies.
In your role, you need to be an expert on the latest product advancements as well as how those products best fit into an overall IT solution. Good solution providers are not snake-oil salesmen; they are ingrained in their customers’ business.
But most solution providers are also business owners themselves and, much like the story of the shoemaker’s children never having any shoes, many times solution providers ignore their own business needs. It’s a difficult balance, servicing customers and running your business, and while some areas can be fudged or put off, right now health care needs to be front and center.
The Health Insurance Marketplace, the public exchange for the ACA, opened last week. Currently there is a current partial government shutdown as the House of Representatives tries to get the law defunded and the Senate refuses to budge, but right now the law is still moving forward and it is critical for all solution providers to know what their state’s position is on this.
Every state by this time has notified the federal government whether it wanted any part in running the ACA in 2014. Knowing what your state’s position is can help you determine what your best options are.
Every state will have an Affordable Insurance Exchange, or Marketplace, beginning in January 2014, according to the Small Business Administration. “States have the option of running their own Marketplace, partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to partially run the Marketplace, or opting for a Marketplace run by HHS, according to the Small Business Administration,” one the SBA documents state.
The SBA’s website is a great a resource for information on ACA, but realize it is pro-government site. Another good resource to put things in perspective and help you make the best decisions is The Kaiser Family Foundation site, which provides consumer-related research.
The implementation of the ACA varies not only by state but also by size of company. There are different rules and regulations for companies with fewer than 25 employees, those with fewer than 50 employees, and those with 50 or more employees.
The Affordable Care Act will impact your health insurance coverage choices and decisions as well as influence your hiring strategy, and has direct tax-related implications. Solution providers would be well-served to take the time to learn about the ACA and what it means to their business.