Health care reform
Between March 28 and April 30, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will take bids from insurers who want to participate in the federal Health Insurance Exchanges.
HHS hopes to decide in July which plans will appear on the exchange menus, so that exchanges will be ready to sell coverage beginning October 1.1
One key element of the original exchange scheme has been delayed: the employee choice option on the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). For more information, see our recent article.
Impact on employers: The health care reform act requires that all employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) tell their employees in writing about the new Health Insurance Exchanges and how those exchanges relate to their workplace benefits. As a result, employers will need to closely follow exchange implementation in their states so they can fulfill their communication obligations.
Impact on employees/individuals: The exchanges are intended to make it easier for employees to access and compare health insurance policy information, and to obtain subsidies for insurance costs, if they are eligible.
Impact on brokers: As employers seek advice on formulating a benefits strategy for health care reform, brokers will need to stay up to date on the exchanges and the differing ways they may be implemented in various states.