Healthcare Reform

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Health-care law update 2014: What you need to know

Get your questions answered on healthcare reform and how it affects your business!

The Washington Restaurant Association retained the services of healthcare expert Donna Steward to help educate the restaurant industry and individually answer member questions. Every month, we conducted a toll-free conference calls where members were able to ask questions relating to the healthcare issue and receive a response on the spot. Check out the recording of the conference calls below.

**SPECIAL ALERTS**

> OCTOBER 1 NOTIFICATION DEADLINE! Employers are required to provide this written notice to each current employee not later than October 1, 2013, and to each new employee at the time of hiring beginning October 1, 2013. [Click here for more information]

  • Employers Who Offer a Health Plan to Some or All Employees (must be distributed to current employees no later than October 1, 2013) – [DOWNLOAD THIS FORM] 
  • Employers Who Do Not Offer a Health Plan (must be distributed to current employees no later than October 1, 2013)  – [DOWNLOAD THIS FORM]

> On July 2, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service announced that the penalty for employers  with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees that do not provide health care coverage to their employees will be delayed until 2015.

Conference Call Archives:

  • January 8: It Has Been Three Years…Why is the ACA Still So Controversial? It can’t just be differences in ideology that keeps this bill in the headlines.  And if we all agree reform of our health care coverage system is necessary, why are we still fighting about it?  Tune-in for an in-depth discussion of the construct of the ACA, why the controversy continues, and what we may see in the future.
    • This is a 90 minute presentation with 30 minutes for Q&A
    • The form and content is not conducive to a written Q&A deliverable
    • The content is applicable to all audiences, employer issues will be covered in general but not as a primary focus and not in great detail
    •  (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1.5 hours)

Here is the full schedule of topics:

June 26: Understanding Your “Responsibility” Under the Federal Health Care Reform Law
The sweeping provisions of the Affordable Care Act place significant responsibilities on employers, and the burden rests with employers to know exactly what those responsibilities are. Employers of all sizes will have reporting requirements, and owners of multiple businesses will need to understand how they may be affected by the law. Make sure you understand the basics of eligibility and whether or not you need to provide coverage to your employees.  (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

July 31:  Delay in the Employer Mandate Penalty – What Does This Mean for You?
The IRS recently announced a delay in the penalty against large employers that do not provide health care coverage to employees. The penalty should have applied in 2014 in accordance with the federal health care reform law, but it is now delayed until 2015. Find out what the delay really means  and whether or not it changes the requirement to provide coverage next year?  Join us for a discussion of the announcement and upcoming rules that will redefine government reporting requirements to ensure compliance with the law.  (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

August 28: Understanding Which Employees Must Be Offered Health Care Coverage
Are you aware that federal health care reform redefines who must be considered a full-time employee? Are you also aware that many “part-time” employees may actually be entitled to coverage depending on the schedules they work? Join us for a conversation about how to determine who must be offered coverage, how measurement and stability periods work, and what strategies you are allowed to use to prevent IRS penalties for not providing coverage to eligible employees. (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

September 25: Understanding the New “Nondiscrimination” Rules from the US Department of Labor – The Department of Labor is currently developing rules on the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act requirement that will prohibit an employer from requiring lower wage employees to contribute more to premium costs than higher wage employees. These rules, , may include additional changes that fundamentally alter the benefit structures you have already developed. Join us for a discussion of the new rules and how they will impact all employers providing coverage.   (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

October 30: Dispelling the Myths about How to Comply with Health Care Reform
Join us for a frank discussion of common misconceptions about the Affordable Care Act and what it means for large and small employers. We’ll look at strategies for complying with health care coverage requirements, and what employers may or may not do to mitigate the impact of the reform. (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

November 20: Counting Down to 2014
The most onerous provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act take effect on January 1, 2014, but employers can take steps now to be ready to meet the requirements and avoid penalties. Tune in as we recap each of the requirements that go into effect in 2014 and review strategies to prevent penalties.

Archives of Previous Healthcare Reform Conference Calls

“Nuts and bolts: What all employers need to know to comply with the healthcare reform law” – Friday, April 26 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“Treatment of non-traditional employees” – Friday, April 19 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

The federal Patient Protect

“The offer of “’affordable’ coverage” – Friday, April 12 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“Avoiding “discrimination” problems” – Friday, April 5 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“Open Forum: Questions and Answers from members” – Friday, March 29 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“New employees and new variable hour employees” – Friday, March 22 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“Look-back and stability periods” – Friday, March 15 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“Why Size Matters” – Friday, March 8 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“State Health Insurance Exchange” – Friday, February 22 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“What Kind of Coverage Will I Be Required to Purchase Employees Beginning in 2014?” – Friday, February 15 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“Individual Mandate and Its Impact on Employers” – Friday, February 8 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“Employer Responsibilities Under Federal Health Care Reform” – Friday, February 1 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour) “Implications of Federal Health Care Reform for Small Employers” – Friday, January 25 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

“Large Employer Responsibility Under the Affordable Care Act” – Friday, January 18 at 10am PST (Listen to recording, mp3 format, 1 hour)

About WRA’s healthcare consultant

donna-steward1Donna Steward is President of Kiawe Public Affairs specializing in health care advocacy for small business owners.  She has 18 years of experience with health care policy at both the state and federal level and has 8 years of experience lobbying state legislators on private market solutions for health care reform.  Prior to Kiawe Public Affairs, Donna worked as Government Affairs Director for the Association of Washington Business (AWB) where she advocated for businesses on health care, education and unemployment insurance issues.  During this time she developed in-depth knowledge of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping federal health care reform legislation which will affect persons throughout the country.  Steward has been actively involved on the national level providing input on how the law and proposed rules will affect businesses and proposing alternatives to items negatively impacting business owners. Prior to her work with AWB, Steward was the Associate Regional Administrator for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where she had responsibility for Medicare contractors in 36 states and $33 billion in annual Medicare claims.  She also spent five years as a Legislative Research Analyst for the Washington State Legislature, focusing on Washington state health care policy.  Steward is a native Washingtonian, and graduate of the University of Washington with a BA in Economics.

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