Conundrums for Employers as They Navigate Healthcare Reform

Recent developments regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have led to some surprising and probably unintended consequences for workers with dependents and their employers. Legislators clarified that workers with families whose employers offer qualified healthcare coverage will not be eligible for government assistance or premium tax credits on the public healthcare exchange in 2014.

Before that announcement, many assumed that family members would have access to government assistance even if the head of household was excluded. Instead, once the Act goes into effect in 2014, middle-income families will be precluded from receiving government support if a head of household receives employer-sponsored health care.

The result is that employers of workers with families now face important questions: Are their workers actually best supported with employer-sponsored health coverage, or would those workers and their families be better off buying insurance on the individual market with federal support? Is there a benefits option that can save both employers and their employees money?

The answers to these questions must be taken on a case-by-case basis, because many employees who qualify for premium tax credits will save money with the public health exchange, as will their employers. But some employees may not qualify for premium tax credits, and will instead require employer reimbursements to “make them whole.”

Additionally complicating this decision is the fact that while healthcare reform obligates large employers to contribute to coverage for all employees, this contribution can come in the form of either offering employer-sponsored health coverage or alternatively paying the government a “shared responsibility payment” of $2,000 for each eligible worker in the company.

Deciding alone how to proceed can be complicated and cumbersome for employers, who are already busy enough taking care of the pressing daily operations of their business. Benefitter’s software solutions and services can help employers chose the benefits approach that best fits their company, ensuring that both employers and their employees have benefits at the lowest possible cost. Contact us today at