Health Insurance Hassles for Business

What’s the law? Is it changing? What about compliance?

By Kevyn Burger
Tue, 2017-04-11 11:08

Confusion. Anxiety. Frustration.

Those are some of the emotions that licensed health insurance broker Todd Hanson is hearing in his clients’ voices. Hanson, director of client services for the Minneapolis office of CBIZ, finds that a lot of business people are perplexed about the current laws governing health insurance.

“Clients are calling wanting to know the impact of pending federal legislation on their plans and what they need to do to prepare,” says Hanson. “They’re asking what, if anything, they have to do to stay compliant with what is on the books.”

There was never a vote on the Republican health care plan, officially known as the American Health Care Act (ACHA) but often referred to as TrumpCare or Ryan Care. So for the time being, the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) or Obama Care, remains on the books.

“It’s an active issue, but it’s still a grey area what’s coming down the pike. For now we tell people that the Affordable Care Act is still the law,” Hanson adds.

CBIZ operates 100 US offices, providing financial and employee business services to organizations and individual clients. Hanson’s role is to work with employers with employer-sponsored health plans.

“We hear that there will be another attempt to repeal that would keep effective pieces of the ACA that are good and cull out pieces the Republicans don't like,” he says.”Right now, we are waiting to see these pieces. President Trump talks about health insurance but the president doesn’t pass laws, Congress does and that’s who will make the modifications.”

The Affordable Care Act added many regulations that heightened compliance requirements for businesses providing employee health care, and also added penalties for those in violation. Hanson hears from many businesses who are hoping whatever emerges next will come with fewer obligations.

“Many businesses find the ACA has greatly increased the amount of time and energy it takes to comply. It’s has a lot of heavy duty administrative demands that didn’t exist before,” he notes.

Hanson is sympathetic about how difficult it is to track the intricacies of pending legislation. He also understands why clients are actively trying to make sure they understand and meet their obligations.

“The amount that flows through health care adds a level of financial anxiety for business,” he says. “It’s a lot of money.”