Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Delay in the Employer Mandate

Once again there is a change in one of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The employer mandate requires all large employers to either provide health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty/tax of $2000 per employee per year (the first 30 are tax exempt).  A large employer is defined as having 50 or more employees (IRS determination of a full time employee). Originally the employer mandate was to take place in […]

Should Your Small Business Offer Health Insurance in 2014

For a good part of 2013 I have been speaking to small businesses about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  At those speaking engagements employers have expressed concern about what should they do in 2014.  Should they provide health insurance, can they afford it or is it better to just wait and see what happens in the latter part of 2013 before making a decision?  There is no easy answer. The answers to these questions vary […]

Replace Oregon Workers’ Compensation with a single payer health insurance system?

I remember when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law and one of the questions that came up was, ‘Would the ACA replace workers’ compensation?’ The logic behind the question was if everyone has health insurance, then they really do not need medical benefits from workers’ compensation.  Similar logic was raised in a version of a recent bill in Oregon’s last legislative session, HB 2922.  The bill states, “SECTION 26.  { + (1) The Affordable Health […]

Will the Affordable Care Act raise or lower workers’ compensation rates?

While doing research for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) I stumbled upon an article about workers’ compensation.  As a Risk Manager my first love is naturally workers’ compensation so I eagerly dived into the Rand Corporation’s study entitled, The Impact of Health Care Reform on Workers’ Compensation Medical Care.  In my experience, conventional wisdom among my peers in Risk Management is that employees with health insurance have lower workers’ compensation claim losses.  I share this […]

Health Insurance Exchange Notices – Who is enforcing their distribution?

By October 1st, 2013 health exchange notices are required by law to have been distributed to all employees.  These notices to employees either explain the health insurance the employer provides or, if the employer does not offer coverage, refers employees to their state’s health insurance exchange to purchase insurance. Examples of employee notices are available – If you are a Cardinal client we will be assisting with this requirement. Getting a notice out to a large […]

Part-Time Employees; Fewer Hours but Equal Rights

With the upcoming Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation some employers have been opting to drop a percentage of their employees to part-time status to avoid paying hefty health insurance fees for not offering coverage as they would for full time employees. Employers should be careful not to become under the impression that part-time employees can be terminated or treated differently than full time employees. The Department of Labor does not have a distinction between the […]

Labor Trends – Affordable Care Act

Working at Cardinal has afforded me the opportunity to interact with business owners all over Oregon. In the last few months I have noticed some trends related to the upcoming employer mandate requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. To provide some background the employer mandate is a $2000 penalty per full time employee per year (note the first 30 are tax exempt) which only affects large businesses, those with 50 or more […]

Cover Oregon

Oregon’s Health Insurance Exchange  Once small business owners realize that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax/penalty does not apply to companies with fewer than 50 employees their next questions are usually focused on the individual mandate and the cost of health care coverage. It goes without saying that cost is foremost on the minds of most employers, especially for those companies where coverage is not offered and that outlay is not currently built into their […]