The Long and the Short of Obamacare for Small Employers

How Once Small Businesses Became Large Businesses Overnight

The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has unveiled many surprises; however, it may be fairly said that no surprise was more “surprising,” more filled with impact and unintended consequences, than the little-noted redefinition of what companies are “large businesses” and what businesses are “small businesses.”

Obamacare’s October 1, 2013 Employee Notification -- En Espanola

There is nothing in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare,” that requires employers to provide Spanish-language notifications to workers about the availability of their state insurance Exchange as part of the mandated Notice that is due to go out by October 1, 2013. This is a remarkable omission.

5 Things an Employer Can Do to Prepare for Obamacare

As employers, we bear many of the greatest burdens put in place by the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. In addition to my law practice, I am a small business person, so I am deeply involved in all aspects of the ACA.

As employers, we have a mandate to offer health coverage, and penalties if we do not offer health insurance. We have mandated benefits to go with the mandated coverage, and additional penalties if those benefits are not provided. We are now expected to monitor our employee’s hours and offer health coverage according to a timetable.

Why Everybody is Dead Wrong About the Mandated  October First Obamacare Exchange Notices

There is a lot being said about the government-mandated Insurance Exchange Notices that employers are required to give to employees prior to October 1st, 2013. A quick Google search shows a mere 75 million results, but what does Google know? “Experts” have cropped up everywhere, each with a distinctive “take” on the issue – but oddly, most of those “takes” say pretty much the same thing. Their advice?

Obamacare to Make Children’s Health Insurance Unaffordable for Millions of American Families

In passing the Affordable Care Act, Congress and the President created a law filled with unintended consequences, some of which are only now coming to light.

A shocking unintended consequence of Obamacare is that insurance for dependent children is not required to be “affordable.”

Obamacare: Clowns to the Left – Jokers to the Right

America’s Stuck in the Middle …
With Gridlock

Have you ever been around someone who makes a lot of sense, but then they say something well, nuts? It then makes you question everything they say or have ever said, right? This is the epidemic plaguing this country’s discourse right now.It is not a new phenomenon, to be sure. However, the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), has brought us a new and improved flavor of “crazy” from people who used to make a lot of sense.

ACA (“Obamacare”) Compliance Checklist for Employers

Many people don’t know that employer compliance with the ACA is self-reporting. That means that employers will be required to report their excise tax liabilities on their annual tax returns. The only way the feds will be able to check their work is going to be through audits. Since one of the primary mechanisms to fund the ACA is through collecting excise taxes, you bet your bottom dollar that audits will happen.

Obamacare Countdown For Large Employers – Part 1

New Treasury Dept. Rules Punish Employers

Who Push Employees from Full-Time to Part-Time to Avoid Penalties

Large employers may have run out of time to implement certain  business strategies to comply with the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), according to the most recent Treasury Department rules.

Part One:  The Five Biggest Mistakes Brokers Are Making About Obamacare

One of the unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act (ACA; also known as Obamacare) is decreased commissions for insurance brokers. Insurers subject to the medical loss ratio (MLR)* regulations must devote a minimum of 80 or 85 percent of premium dollars on medical care or activities that improve health care quality each year. Broker commissions are considered administrative costs and therefore have to be paid out of the 15 or 20 percent leftover after the MLR is calculated. The result is that most insurers have had to drastically reduce broker commissions so that they can still make their money

Part Two:  The Five Biggest Mistakes Brokers Are Making About Obamacare

2.  “Don’t Worry, It is Unlikely that Penalty B Will Never Be Triggered” (And Other Such Strategies That Suck)

Brokers need to be extremely careful when advising employers on strategies that could end up costing employers hundreds of thousands of dollars. One common misconception among large employers with low-wage workers is that Penalty B will never be triggered because low-wage workers will never want to or be able to pay even a cheap premium toward an insurance plan. This reasoning is flawed and here is why:

Part Three:  The Five Biggest Mistakes Brokers Are Making About Obamacare

3.  “I Only Sell One Kind of Insurance” (One Size Does Not Fit All)

The ACA is causing all of us to look at business and insurance differently than ever before. As a result, new products and strategies have popped up that come at the problem in different ways. Every business has different needs, goals, financial circumstances and appetite for risk.

 

Part Four:  The Five Biggest Mistakes Brokers Are Making About Obamacare

4.  “I Know the Answer and You Don’t” (Thinking You Know It All)

A closed mind is a dangerous mind. Given that this law is literally being written by the regs and new regs come out nearly every month, no one can possible know it all. Almost weekly, I meet brokers and other consultants who are more interested in sounding smart and telling everyone what they know rather than in finding out what they can learn from other people. As you can imagine, those folks miss out on tons of valuable information. None of us knows what we don’t know.

Part Five:  The Five Biggest Mistakes Brokers Are Making About Obamacare

5.  “It Will Probably Be Delayed Again Anyway” (Doing Nothing = Really Bad Idea)

Probably the single worst planning idea I have encountered is the ‘I’ve got plenty of time’ approach. I talk to brokers every day who tell me they are advising their clients to do nothing until January 1, 2015.

Not So Sexy Anymore: Obamacare is Shrinking as a Political Issue

Last week, the NY Times compared the number of Obamacare related news releases last year versus this year, and declared that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is shrinking as a political issue.

“Last summer, lawmakers churned out news releases using the term Obamacare, 530 of them in June, July and August,” wrote Derek Willis. “This summer, 138.”

The IRS Cavity Search… Want one?

“We’re auditing your tax return and we need documentation to verify the income and withholding you reported on your tax return.”

Ever get a letter like this? If so, I bet it ruined your day.

The Employers Guide To Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the most confusing and difficult laws US employers have ever had to face. It is thousands of pages long and changes constantly. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the IRS will collect approximately $130 Billion dollars from employers who fail to comply with the law over the next 10 years. Fortunately, the Employer’s Guide to Obamacare is here to help business owners navigate the minefield.

 

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