Healthcare reform: what you need to know

Last week, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and many employers flew into a panic. But before you bang your head against the desk, let’s break down the facts of the new law so you have the information you need to move forward.

The purpose of the law is to provide coverage for as many as 32 million Americans who have been unable to access care, perhaps because they have been denied coverage because they were too sick or because they could not afford coverage. Starting in 2014, employers with 50 or more employees* will be required to provide “minimum essential coverage” for their employees (* there are other ways for employers to qualify so be sure to check the link below for details!) . If you fail to provide coverage, you will be served a per-employee penalty.

We have been following this law closely and the best resource I have found to explain this act has been “President Obama Signs Stage I of Federal Health Care Reform Law” by our partners at Ogletree Deakins. There’s no fluff and it doesn’t “pick a side” – it’s a plain-English breakdown of what you need to know about this law. It addresses the following questions:

  • Why are there two bills?
  • What provisions of the PPACA will have a direct effect on employers?
  • What effects will the second bill have on the employment-related provisions of the PPACA?

Click here to read the article.

This bill will most likely not be the final say. Already in the works is a follow up bill (“Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010”) that will amend some of the PPACA’s provisions. In addition, attorney generals from numerous states have joined to bring suit, saying the law is unconstitutional. And who knows what will come after that? We’ll have to wait and see.

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