The Affordable Care Act: You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea…

With 2013 coming to an end there is a lot of commotion floating around the office about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how this will affect our consultants.  While we all can agree that the carrying out of this law has not exactly gone smoothly, it is still important that we educate ourselves on this matter.  After all, how are we expected to direct our consultants if we ourselves do not know how to navigate through the confusion that is the ACA?

So if you will, bear with me and brace yourself for the throng of thrilling information you are about to encounter.

For starters, you might be asking yourself what exactly is the ACA?  As mandated by the ACA, beginning in January 2014, individuals are required to maintain a health insurance policy that provides minimum essential coverage (MEC) for themselves and their dependents each month or pay a penalty.  For lower income individuals that qualify, the law provides premium credits and cost-sharing subsidies to make coverage more affordable.  Beginning in January 2015, all large employers will be required to offer all employees and their dependents MEC.

Now that you are an expert on the Affordable Care Act I will gladly touch on how this will affect us as a company.  Due to pending regulations, The CSI Companies/Anteo Group is unable to provide our consultants with MEC until 2015.  In 2014 we will only be able to offer our consultants The First Staff Benefits plan.  This plan does NOT meet the MEC requirements.  Therefore, all of our consultants must obtain MEC by other means or be assessed a penalty.  

How do we direct our consultants?  This is where the Marketplace comes into play.  All CSI/Anteo consultants receive the Marketplace Notice in their initial paperwork.  This notice is used to inform consultants about what the Marketplace is as well as provide them with a link that will direct them to the Marketplace, which can be accessed via Heathcare.gov.  Through the Marketplace our consultants are able to browse multiple healthcare plans that do meet the MEC requirements, therefore helping them avoid any penalties they would otherwise incur.

While this may have only touched the tip of the Affordable Care Act iceberg, it is my hopes that the smidgeon of information you have received today clarifies some of the confusion surrounding the upcoming healthcare transition of 2014.  In keeping ourselves knowledgeable on matters that may affect our consultants we are continuing to achieve our motto People. Done Right.   

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