Employers Should Evaluate Impact Of Supreme Court Health Care Decision

One human resources expert, who is gathering information on implementation ramifications, says now is the time for analysis and planning.


Are you a local employer? Here's a few things to think about regarding your company's healthcare policy. 

As the about the recent , also known as Obamacare, Wayne Rigney, a human resources expert from of Madison, says business owners need to start planning for how the decision will affect their company, if they haven't already.

"It mainly will affect businesses that have over 50 employees, but there definitely will be a big impact," Rigney said Friday.

Some businesses planning already, decision removes some uncertainty

Rigney pointed out that some business may have already started the planning process, but the Supreme Court decision takes at least some of the uncertainty out of the process.

He says many businesses are looking for information about the practical aspects of implementation, which he is gathering, along with details about how the Supreme Court decision Thursday may affect specific aspects of implementation.

"The main thing is that, agree with it or not, it was ruled constitutional. That removes some of the uncertainty," he said. "My guess is that many businesses ignored it and now they are realizing they will have to deal with it."

Society of Human Resource Management provides these tips for employers

Rigney cited this information, provided by the Society of Human Resource Management:

While the individual mandate was deemed by a majority of the Court to violate the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution, it was ruled constitutional because Congress has the authority to impose a tax on individuals who go without insurance.

Key steps employers need to take:
1. Determine the strategic implications of whether or not to offer a plan. Health benefits are just one part of an overall total rewards strategy. How does an organization’s having (or not having) health benefits impact other talent acquisition and talent management strategies?
2. Review the Supreme Court decision as to its impact on your organization.
3. If a plan is offered, perform a qualitative analysis on whether it makes sense to remain a grandfathered plan or become nongrandfathered by examining the seven PPACA provisions that apply only to nongrandfathered plans.
4. Perform a qualitative analysis to determine if existing plans meet qualifying eligibility and affordability standards. In order for employers to avoid potential penalties, ensure that any health plans offered meet both standards.
5. Determine the true organizational costs of either offering or not offering health coverage after 2013. For many organizations, this is not the "no-brainer" that it may first appear.
6. Perform a quantitative analysis to project the so-called "Cadillac tax" set to begin in 2018.

The Society for Human Resource Management provided this webpage on different aspects of healthcare reform and how it will affect businesses.

In June 2011, McKinsey & Co. provided this report on how U.S. health care reform will affect employee benefits.

US health care reform sets in motion the largest change in employer-provided health benefits in the post–World War II era. While the pace and timing are difficult to predict, McKinsey research points to a radical restructuring of employer-sponsored health benefits following the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act.

The McKinsey & Co. report has a specific sidebar on how the U.S. heath care act will affect coverage options for employers.

Here are some links from the Connecticut Business & Industry Association on the heathcare ruling:

Officials from the Connecticut Business and Industry Association were ... measured in their reaction [to the Supreme Court decision} ... "I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing," said Joseph F. Brennan, senior vice president of the CBIA, said of the court's ruling. ... "It doesn't really address cost sufficiently. It doesn't really address quality sufficiently. It's really just about reducing the number of uninsured," he said ... But with health care advocates projecting that Connecticut's Medicaid rolls could grow by as many as 130,000 people by 2016, the potential risk of a system that lacks adequate cost controls looms large, he said.

Editor's Note: The 193-page Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is posted with this article and there are links at the bottom for additional information for employers as they plan for healthcare reform.

Bruce Farmer July 06, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Now the Health and Human Services Dept. and the IRS get to write the administrative manuals for all of this (thousands of pages) - they already blew through 1 Billion dollars and they want to hire a lot more people and are asking for a lot more money !! Bruce Farmer
Steve Bristol July 06, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Bruce From a blog I follow: "180 new bureaus/boards/commissions, hundreds of new employees, billions of dollars, who knows how many new rules to comply with… Make no mistake about it, whatever Team Obama says — this is a massive, unprecedented expansion of federal power. Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass it to know what’s in it, and we’re still not even done figuring out what’s in it." Steve
DHHS CLASS OF 1971 July 06, 2012 at 11:24 PM
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. WoW! What could possibly be wrong with anything that sounds as good as this? Well let's break out the old calculator and do some basic math. There are about 312 million Americans. (This does not count the 8 to 20 million illegal aliens). The PPACA claims that it will help 32 million Americans that have no health insurance. Using basic math that means that about 10% of the population will get health insurance while the other 90% will have their health care altered, modified, or changed. What it really means is that 90% of us will have to pay more. I know this to be a fact. My employer has already warned me that 2013 will bring increases in cost of my health care plan. So 32 million more people will be in the system. Do you think it is free? With the massive bureaucracy that is already being set up to implement and run the PPACA, do you really think that it will be free? What about all the additional IRS agents to collect the taxes for the PPACA. Will they work for free? 32 million new patients. Where are the additional doctors and nurses to take care of these people? This great nation already has a shortage of nurses and doctors. Under this new law, small business owners will be taxed $2,000 per worker for not providing health insurance. There are 19 other taxes in the PPACA. You'll find them in the 2,700 pages of the bill that Mrs. Pelosi said: "You'll have to pass it in order to see what is in it!" Transparent law? Hardly.
Bruce Farmer July 07, 2012 at 05:08 PM
To Steve and DHHS - This is NOT good !! Maybe we should move to Australia. Bruce
DHHS CLASS OF 1971 July 07, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Hey Bruce, Australia may be a little too far.....I am thinking Wyoming! Think about it. Republican Governor, Senators, and Congresswoman. No state income tax. Low unemployment. I am a refugee from 30 years of living in New York. I thought coming home to the Shoreline would be a good thing.......but then there is a Democrat Governor, two Democrat Senators ( Lieberman doesn't vote with the Dems?), 5 Democrat Congressman, and Willie Fritz. You don't have to be Milton Friedman to figure out that this is " Taxmegeddon ".


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