ACA: Nothing changes in 2017

ACA: Nothing changes in 2017

Everyone is freaking out about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but the truth is, no one knows what is going to happen. A lot of discussion and legislation has to happen before anyone even moves a muscle. What does that mean for you?  It means that the ACA is still the law, and all requirements are still in effect for 2017.

“It will likely be January 2019 before any new program would be completely in place,” said Robert Laszewski, a health care industry consultant and long-time critic of the law.

The current open enrollment period runs through January 2017. Shop for a plan, use it and don’t focus on what Congress may do several months from now.

WRA Minimum Essential Coverage program page

The ACA Employer Mandate / Employer Penalty, originally set to begin in 2014, was delayed until 2015 / 2016. ObamaCare’s “employer mandate” is a requirement that all businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTE) provide health insurance to at least 95% of their full-time employees and dependents up to age 26, or pay a fee. ($2,000 per employee)

So what does that mean for restaurants in the state as Jan 1, 2017 looms large?

It means that there is whole pool of businesses who feel drastically behind the eight ball when it comes to planning for health care. Anecdotally, the word on the street is that many organizations are scrambling to find the right health care programs for the size of their business. Many employers worry that this added expense may break the bank and confound their operating models. Many restaurants say that the changing landscape is often too difficult to understand and keep up with, and they have not even started planning. The good news is that it is not too late, the bad news is that it soon will be.

The Washington Restaurant Association understands that the dramatic reshaping of the health care terrain in 2017 will mean that restaurants will be looking to the association for ideas and solutions. As such, the association has crafted a raft of partnerships, programs and information, and placed them under a comprehensive industry specific health care umbrella. Over the coming months the association will be highlighting a wide range of options for restaurants, with the hope that you and your organization will find the right mix of products and services for your business.

For those large employers who fall under the provisions of the Employer Mandate, the association recommends a close look at the Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) requirements of the ACA. For many it will be THE solution. The trick is to get the right information in front of the right people’s eyes. So, if you are a large employer, take a look below through the association’s comprehensive explanations of Minimum Essential Coverage, and if you think it is the right path for your business, or if you want more information. Get in touch, we have brokers ready to assist.

Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC), could be just the answer you need to make it through 2017.

WRA MEC program page

MEC virtual presentation and explanation

MEC Terminology