Joshua Sutin, San Antonio

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As head of Cox Smith'semployee benefits/ERISA and tax practice groups, Josh Sutinassists clients with the challenges facing businesses today.Understanding that the scope of the Patient Protection andAffordable Care Act and its mandates can be overwhelming, the firmcombined the talents of its employee benefits and health careattorneys into a PPACA team.

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It's here. PPACA is here. It'sstaying. Get ready for it. The brokers out there who are learningabout it and doing something will succeed.

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Consider variables. Do you work with employerswith variable hour employees? If so, have they thought abouttracking their full-time status using the newSafeHarborrules forthe “pay or play” mandate? They need to be preparing NOW andtracking hours ASAP in order to have the ability to lock theseemployees into full-time or part-time status for all of 2014.

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Check your dates. Do you have customers withnon-calendar year plans? Their deadline to comply with the “pay orplay” rules may or may not be Jan. 1, 2014. Complex transitionrules exist for non-calendar year plans—make sure your clients knowwhich dates apply to them.

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Wellness works. Wellness plans are a goodthing, but PPACA has put many specific rules in place for rewardingemployees. If your clients want to reward people based on certainhealth factors, they need to be very careful about compliance withthe HIPAA nondiscrimination rules. 

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Associates only. If you're assisting customerswith health plans, then the government considers you that company'sbusiness associate. The government has ramped up its HIPAA privacyand security requirements and expectations for business associatesand you can get in big trouble for breaches. Business associateswho deal with health plans must be very careful about how theyhandle customer data. 

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Photograph by Alexander Aleman

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[Click here for moreabout Josh Sutin.]

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