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Thomas Farrell Benefits and Insurance Leave a Comment

Lest we think there is ever a minute to sit back and put our feet up about employee benefits, in less than a month, open enrollment this year will be here. If you have been unhappy about your health care coverage, now is the time to start thinking about what your next move will be.

 

From November 1st to January 31st, the floodgates will open at health insurance companies across the nation and you will be able to make a switch in your coverage. There are some things about open enrollment this year that you may want to think about before you decide to either renew your current plan or decide to switch insurance providers.

 

  1. Your Health Care Premiums Are Going Up This Year

 

According to The Fiscal Times, as well as many other financial outlets, premiums for health insurance across the board will be on the rise for 2017. There are many factors contributing to the rise, such as the ending of government subsidy to those insurance providers who have elected to participate in the “Obamacare” exchange. The government was making up for the premium cost shortfall with exchange rates for consumers but that is going away this year.

 

Also, the rising drug costs are driving up premium costs as well. Accepting the realization that open enrollment this year means more money out of your pocket is inevitable. For many, this is disappointing news when the entire point of Affordable Care Act was to make healthcare more affordable. Many will trade higher premiums for lesser coverage, neither one of which is a bargain.

 

If you are not happy about your premiums now, it is unlikely that your premiums will be better with the same carrier this coming year. Now is the time to think about what solution you will switch to if you are in search of lower monthly premiums or better coverage options.

 

   2) Not Adhering To ACA Guidelines Is Going To Cost You After Open Enrollment This Year

 

There are fines associated with non-compliance to what the ACA mandates regarding when small businesses need to provide coverage for employees, even part-time workers. Now is the time to get your company compliant before fines are raised yet again and more attention is paid to employers who are attempting to skirt the law.

 

Feigning ignorance will fall on deaf ears as of open enrollment this year. If you want to avoid heavy fines from the IRS, it is best to find out what you need to do to ensure you are compliant before the government has to tell you that you are not.

 

Offering ACA compliant coverage is what you need to do to stay out of trouble. The tricky part is finding benefits that are both compliant and affordable. Nevertheless, it needs to be done.

 

Skimpy coverage costs you and your employees a lot of money. No one wants to pay monthly premiums on top of steep yearly deductibles. Trying to offer the bare minimum neither helps you nor your employees feel good about their employee benefits.

 

You have to think long term when you consider your benefits options. Having no coverage is bad; having terrible coverage that costs a lot is even worse. There are better options out there. Good coverage at affordable rates are not as out of reach as you might think with a little research on your end.

 

  3) PEOs Can Ease All Of The Burden Of Benefits And More

 

PEOs pick up where your employee benefits and payroll company leaves off. If you are using an agency for benefits and a payroll company like Paychex to help with some of the burden of HR then a PEO would be a likely next step for your company.

 

A PEO is a fully outsourced HR solution that co-employs your employees, sharing the responsibility of your ACA compliance IRS responsibilities like payroll tax filings. They navigate the rocky shores of employment law so you can get back to what you wanted to do when you first started, growing your business.

 

Being a small business owner has plenty of challenges, taking on HR responsibilities and dealing with ACA headaches shouldn’t be something you are losing sleep over. Too many entrepreneurs find out how much they don’t know about HR the hard way; when the law comes knocking on their door. If you need help and guidance with HR and benefits compliance, talk to a PEO broker today. PEO Spectrum will help you find out if a PEO is right for your business; for free.
Open enrollment this year doesn’t have to get you down. Conversely, it could be the best excuse to think about HR outsourcing a little differently this year. If you’ve considered a PEO before but might have hesitated to move forward, now may be a better time to revisit a great solution for thousands of small business owners again.

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