Guest Blog: Come to the Alliance Annual Meeting to Find Out How What You Don’t Know about the Affordable Care Act Can Hurt You!
July 1, 2013Summer is here and when you have survived another Chicago winter, it’s time for fun in the sun, golf, cookouts, vacations and all of things that make this season so special. Here in the Alliance office, however, summer also means that we are working harder than ever to bring you a world-class Annual Meeting this September 5-7, at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida. In order to give you a sample of the high quality information and education that we will be featuring at this year’s meeting, this summer, I am occasionally going to give you all a little break from my ramblings and turn things over to a to a guest blogger selected from among our faculty. For this week’s post, I am pleased to turn things over to Mark Holloway, Senior Vice President and Director of Compliance Services for the Lockton Companies LLC. The title of this workshop at Annual Meeting will be Navigating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): What Employers and Consumers Don’t Know Can Kill Them (Really!). Mark has 25 years of experience in Health and Welfare employee benefits. He provides technical advice related to health and welfare benefit plans to Lockton Benefit Group professionals and their clients. His expertise is in a variety of compliance-related issues including health reform, HIPAA, COBRA, Section 125, discrimination testing, FMLA, state insurance laws and legislative and regulatory issues at the state and federal levels. With that introduction out of the way, I am pleased to turn things over to Mark! ___________________________________________________________ [caption id="attachment_1714" align="alignright" width="190"] Mark Holloway
Sr. VP & Director of Compliance Services[/caption] Thanks Joe! I feel honored to serve as this week’s guest blogger and will do my best to ensure that your readers come away better informed and hopefully interested enough in my topic to participate in the workshop in Florida. Over the past several years, we have seen many hard-fought battles by our elected legislators in Washington, D.C. One of the most contentious of these skirmishes was the path that healthcare reform or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took on its way to being enacted. No matter how we as individuals or companies feel about this legislation, the fact is that many of the provisions will become active within the next year and as such we will need to comply with issues such as the employer mandate. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has recently released guidance on the employer-shared responsibility (or better known as the “employer mandate” or the “pay or play” provisions) provisions under the ACA. The guidance addresses a number of issues tightly linked to an array of practical considerations related to the employer mandate and employers’ future benefits strategy. These issues may prove complex from both an employer compliance and federal agency implementation standpoint. I invite you to join me at the Alliance Annual Meeting in Florida to learn what the mandate means for employers and how to develop some practical solutions for your benefits strategy. My workshop will specifically cover: • How to identify your “full-time employees” under health reform; the cost of covering them under current and alternative plan designs; the penalties you face if you don’t; and a rational risk/reward analysis regarding those penalties. • Strategies to shrink the number of employees who become newly eligible on January 1, 2014, including the use of specific “measurement periods” to gauge full-time status (and when those periods should start and stop), and workforce management or realignment. • Coverage options to minimize cost exposure; how to exploit the flexibility around “affordable” and “minimum value” coverage; and the advantages of offering slender “minimum essential coverage” to some workforce elements. • I will also answer your questions concerning your obligations under the “play or pay” mandate. I look forward to discussing these issues in September and helping fraternal executives, their Board Members and staff begin to develop a plan to successfully deal with the ACA implementation. Thanks to again to Joe for this opportunity and I look forward to seeing you in Florida! To attend this exciting workshop, simply register for the 2013 Alliance Annual Meeting by clicking here. Download the complete program by clicking here.