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Preparing for Obamacare: What You Need to Know

Preparing for Obamacare: What You Need to Know
Healthcare reform is looming. Is your business ready? / Credit: Healthcare reform image via Shutterstock

With more aspects of the Affordable Care Act set to take effect in less than 100 days, many business owners are still struggling to figure out what the new law means for them.

Designed as a way to make health care available to all Americans, the new law has tremendous effects on businesses, many of which will be required to provide health insurance to employees for the first time.

To help business owners navigate the confusing health care landscape, Barry Sloane, CEO of health insurance broker Newtek, offers businesses owners several key tips, including:

  • Exchanges are not necessarily the answer: Although the exchanges are opening, and do provide another way for to purchase insurance, they are not necessarily the best option. The private market choices can still hold a lot of value, and it's best that business owners look at the pricing, network size and the administration costs of administering the plans to make sure that they are making the best decision.
  • Work with a broker: Since the exchanges may be a viable option for some businesses, it is important they work with a broker. Brokers who are appointed on the state exchanges have the ability to present both the private market and exchange options to help business owners decide which is best. By choosing to go to the exchanges directly, business owners assume a lot of responsibility and risk in potentially making the wrong benefit choice for their employees.
  • U.S.E your broker:
    • Understand the coverage
    • Streamline the services
    • Execute your strategy
  • Ensure compliance: By offering health plans that are not compliant, such as improperly notifying employees of health care options, businesses subject themselves to substantial fines or penalties, as well as potential lawsuits from employees.
  • Analyze the full insurance program: Business owners should take inventory of the all policies and coverages they have to make sure they understand what insurance coverages they have in place, where they are deficient in coverage and how they can continue to protect their business.

Starting Oct. 1, those without health insurance can begin enrolling in the new health care exchanges, which will begin providing coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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