Inside the Affordable Care Act: 5 Secrets Every Business Needs to Know

by Phyllis Borzi on June 3, 2013 · 2 comments

Key parts of the Affordable Care Act (referred to here as the ACA) will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014 – but a lot of workers and employers are still unsure about how it will affect them. It’s no mystery that legislation can be difficult to understand. So here, in plain language, are five “secrets” about the ACA that business owners should be aware of.

It’s already here

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, there’ll be a new way to get health insurance: the Health Insurance Marketplace. But the new law is already making preventive care more affordable and accessible, providing 54 million Americans free access to certain services.

Small businesses get big benefits

insurance claim form

The Affordable Care Act will improve access to quality health care options for employees and lower costs for millions of small business owners.

For the first time ever, small businesses will have access to an easy-to-use tool for researching and comparing health insurance options: HealthCare.gov. Plus, small business owners will soon be able to offer their employees a range of plans and insurers, and they’ll still be able to choose how much of their employees’ insurance costs to cover. Small businesses will also have access to more affordable private insurance options and may qualify for an ACA tax credit.

Health reform is good business

Health insurance reforms mean lower costs for U.S. businesses. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the ACA would lower health insurance premiums by as much as 3 percent for large businesses and 4 percent for small businesses. Plus, the ACA emphasizes affordability and accountability. Insurance companies will be required to spend at least 80 cents out of every premium dollar on health care or improvements to care – and they must publicly justify their actions if they raise premiums by 10 percent or more for small businesses.

It’s family-friendly

The Affordable Care Act doesn’t just benefit workers; it’s good for families, too. Children can stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26. And starting in 2014, pregnancy and newborn care will be covered by many plans, as will mental health services.

Time is on your side

Enrollment is open from Oct. 1, 2013, through March 1, 2014 – which means you’ve got plenty of time to explore HealthCare.gov, learn about your options, compare private insurance plans and make a choice that suits your needs.

Phyllis C. Borzi is the assistant secretary of labor for employee benefits security.

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pamela Moorehead June 4, 2013 at 3:40 am

Thank you for keeping me informed of the Health care act established under the current administration.

2 Kelley June 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

You could’ve mentioned that people can still use their insurance broker to help advise them through the process. This is very upsetting to me as an insurance broker that has worked very hard for many years. Closed my family business after 50 years and was forced to join a large firm in order to have all of the additional resources needed to make certain my clients stay compliant throughout this fiasco.
Hopefully, there won’t be more jobs lost after all of this in the end.

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