Health Care Reform: Next Steps

Healthcare-hands.jpgPeggy Hoyt-Hoch, Attorney, Employment Law Services

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Docket Number 11-393, it is time for employers to move forward with their planning and compliance implementation.   

First, prepare yourself to manage ambiguity.  Some are masters at it; most resist it.  Given both the depth and scope of the Affordable Care Act we will need to manage uncertainty into the foreseeable future.  Do not underestimate the emotional toll this may have on you and your staff.  On the other hand, employee expectations are disrupted.  Anyone with an attitude of entitlement may now expect changes.  This could be an opportunity to manage those expectations.

What are the next steps?   This answer depends upon your business; there is no one size fits all.  While immediate compliance with the 2012 and early 2013 mandates is required, now is also the perfect opportunity to go back to your business mission, values, and strategic plan.   Revisit and update as needed. 

Based upon your updated strategy, consider the type of employees and skill levels you will need to attract and retain.  To effectively do so, you will want to evaluate your total compensation package.  Interestingly enough, you will also need to determine how your competitors plan to implement some of these mandatory changes.  Today, most of your competitors are uncertain of the mid or long term impact of reform.  In the near future, a window of preliminary plans will open.  MSEC will be at the forefront of gathering and analyzing benefit plan data to keep your business on top of its game.

Stay tuned for next steps . . . .