What Employers Should Know About the Affordable Care ActKristen Dougherty, Senior Vice President, Sales Manager, Univest Insurance, Inc.
On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act became law. Since that time, there has been an overwhelming amount of information released by the government and reported through the media. Now, more than ever, there is a need for support and education from your employee benefits consultant to navigate through the intricacies of the law and what it means for your business.
A few of the key items that have already been implemented include but are not limited to:
- Insurance companies cannot deny coverage to children under
the age of 19 due to a pre-existing condition.
- Lifetime limits on insurance coverage have been eliminated.
- Qualified small businesses are eligible for tax credits to help
them provide insurance benefits to their workers.
- Free preventive care.
- Young adults are eligible to remain on their parent's plan
until age 26.
- Insurance companies are required to spend at least 80% to
85% of premiums, depending upon employer size, on benefits
and quality improvement or provide a rebate.
- Elimination of flexible spending account (FSA) reimbursements
for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription.
- As of Sept. 23, 2012, insurers and employers are required to provide employees with a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).
As of Jan. 1, 2013, and moving forward, the following key provisions are in place:
- The cost of insurance premiums must be reported on the
employee's W-2 form – beginning in 2013 for those with
250 or more employees.
- FSAs are limited to $2,500 per plan year.
- Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing to sell
or renew policies because of an individual's pre-existing
conditions in 2014.
- Insurance premiums cannot be raised due to gender
or health status in 2014.
- Qualified small businesses and nonprofits are eligible for an
increase in the small business tax credit up to 50% and 35%,
respectively, of their contribution to their health insurance
premium in 2014.
- Employers must notify employees of the impending Health
Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Exchange.
- Employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees will face penalties if one or more of their employees obtains health insurance subsidies through the Exchange in 2014.
These are simply highlights of the act. Our consultants are happy to discuss this in more detail. Univest Insurance can be reached at 800-220-3077.
Insurance products offered through Univest Insurance, Inc., a licensed insurance agency affiliate of Univest Corporation, are obligations of and underwritten by unaffiliated insurance companies. They are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits of or guaranteed by any bank. The purchase of insurance is not a condition of any banking product or service and will not affect credit decisions.