With all of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) regulations, the last thing employers want to do is worry about requirements that don’t apply. One particular regulation that doesn’t necessarily concern employers is the individual responsibility requirement (also know as the individual mandate).
And although the employer shared responsibility requirements have been delayed to 2015, the individual responsibility requirement is still scheduled to take effect in 2014. Under the individual mandate, most people residing in the U.S. will be required to have minimum essential coverage, or they will have to pay a penalty. Many individuals will be eligible for financial assistance, through premium tax credits (also known as premium subsidies), to help them purchase coverage if they buy coverage through the health insurance marketplace (also known as the exchange).
Most employers are, unfortunately, all-too-familar with the traditional approach to disability management: employees must prove they’re disabled. While this traditional strategy may seem effective to some, research shows that its adversarial nature actually leads to higher costs due to more medical tests needed to demonstrate disability.
Ninety-five percent of disabilities are caused by illnesses, rather than accidents (1) – for this and many other reasons, employers should reevaluate their approach in handling employee absences. This startling statistic shows that illnesses are complex and often involve multiple factors that can, and do, prohibit a quick recovery.
The amount of information that an employer must understand regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is, in one word, overwhelming. What might be neglected in that process, however, is a focus on educating their employees on the law and helping them to navigate the options available to them.