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. 

Brokers, for example, should be prepared to help employers think through their benefits strategies more broadly and provide the tools and advice they’ll need to reassess their total benefits packages. With annual enrollments—usually held in the fall—getting closer, here are some issues that brokers might want to stay abreast of as the law continues to unfold.

Meeting the requirements  

Because of the new health care exchanges, employees now will be able to choose between an employer-provided health care plan—if one is offered—or a qualified health plan they buy themselves outside of work in the individual market. Enrollment for the new marketplaces will begin this October, with coverage beginning January 2014.

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