Here’s a newsflash: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is changing the way health insurance is bought, sold and delivered in this country. This year, major provisions take effect, and by 2014, employers must be prepared to fully participate in the new law.
Although benefits brokers already have been working with clients to help answer questions and advise them on the “pay or play” provision, they’ll be called upon to do even more in the coming weeks.
Meeting the law’s requirements
Facing the new reality
As employees shoulder an unprecedented share of health-coverage risk—and as medical insurance becomes available outside of work—other workplace benefits are becoming more important. For example, the shift in cost sharing might leave employees more vulnerable to the high costs of an unexpected injury or illness, so financial protection benefits will become more essential than ever.
A major responsibility will be educating employees about how group and voluntary benefits such as disability, life, hospitalization, accident and critical illness insurance can help protect them and their families against the new financial responsibilities they might be asked to shoulder by filling the gaps created by high deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance.