Georgia Transportation Builder - Fall 2010 - (Page 18)

Health-Care Reform is Final… Now What? Adjustments exist that companies must recognize By Stephen W. Crook, President, Executive Planning Services THE LANDMARK HEALTH-CARE reform bills passed this year will undoubtedly affect how businesses provide and administer benefits to their employees. This means substantial implications for business owners and human resources professionals ranging from compliance to reporting to specific employee coverage. Although many provisions will not take effect until 2014, it is important not to overlook changes already in effect and the more that follow on Jan. 1, 2011. Because of this, HR professionals and business owners must understand the coming changes and be prepared to communicate those that affect employees in the coming months: Changes in Upcoming Months • Available tax credits for small businesses to assist in premium cost • Access to high-risk health insurance pool for those with pre-existing conditions • Prohibitions on lifetime benefit spending limits and restrictions on annual limits • Prohibition on rescissions of coverage, except in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation • Certain care required to be covered with no cost-sharing requirements under new plans, including preventive care • Allowing dependents to remain on parents’ policies up to age 26 • Elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions for children • Reinsurance program for early retirees and their spouses, surviving spouses and dependents • Nondiscrimination rules regarding highly compensated individuals applicable to new fully-insured plans • New appeals process required for new plans • Changes to Medicare and Medicaid • The employer requirement to provide rest breaks and accommodations for nursing mothers Changes as of Jan. 1, 2011 • Ability to enroll employees in the CLASS Act federal long-term care insurance What to do now? Tax Years 2010-2013 • Employers with fewer than 25 employees may take advantage of tax credits in exchange for providing health-care benefits. Until Dec. 31, 2013 • Employers can participate in an incentive program to provide coverage for retirees over 55 who are not eligible for Medicare. • A temporary high-risk pool will be created to provide for those with preexisting medical conditions who’ve been uninsured for six months. • Insurance companies will have to provide coverage for dependent children up to age 26, regardless of educational/marital status. The adult child must not be eligible for another eligible employersponsored health plan. • Plans can no longer set lifetime limits on essential benefits for how much they will pay, except in cases of fraud. • Plans will be required to cover preventative services – immunizations for children and cancer screenings for women. • Policies cannot be cancelled for those who get sick. Jan. 1, 2013 • The limit on how much individuals can contribute to flexible spending accounts (FSAs) will be set at $2,500. • The Medicare tax rate will increase from 1.45% to 2.35% on earnings more than $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families. Jan. 1, 2014 • Companies with 50 or more employees will be required to pay a penalty ($2,000 annualized) for each employee if the company does not provide a health insurance plan. • Companies with 50 or more employees would pay a fine if any of their full-time workers qualified for federal health-care subsidies. • A state-based health care exchange system will be created as a marketplace for uninsured individuals and small businesses to comparison shop for policies. • Health plans will be required to meet minimum benefits covering a minimum of 60 percent of costs. Jan. 1, 2011 • Federal tax on individuals who spend money from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) on ineligible medical expenses will double to 20 percent. • The aggregate cost of applicable employer-sponsored coverage must be reported annually on the employee’s Form W-2. Plan years beginning on/after Sept. 23 OR Calendar year plans beginning Jan. 1, 2011 • Insurers will not be able to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. 18 | GEORGIA TRANSPORTATION BUILDER

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Transportation Builder - Fall 2010

Georgia Transportation Builder - Fall 2010
President’s Message
Commissioner’s Message
Road Investments Make an Impact
Unclogging Georgia’s Arteries
Health-Care Reform is Final… Now What?
Decision 2010: Vote YES on Referendum #3
News & Notes
Index to Advertisers

Georgia Transportation Builder - Fall 2010