The Human Resources Guide To the Affordable Care Act [#ACA]

by Sharlyn Lauby on May 30, 2013

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is sponsored by our friends at Kronos, the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. I’m impressed at the way Kronos is helping employers manage today’s compliance challenges and hope you find the post valuable.)

It might seem a long time away but the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA) becomes effective on January 1, 2014. Trust me, the time will just fly by. And the last thing we want to be working on during the holidays is the company’s ACA implementation strategy. So now’s the time to learn the regulations, decide the company implementation and communication strategy, educate managers and employees, and get ready for the Act to take effect.

Creating an ACA strategy is not optional. According to the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, 75% of workers think their employer will educate them about changes to their health care coverage as a result of healthcare reform. Yet in the same study, only 13 percent of employers said educating employees about health care reform was important to their organization.

If 75% of your workforce expects some sort of communication and the company doesn’t deliver it, I think there could be problems with employee satisfaction, morale and engagement. Don’t be that company.

Worry not, there’s still time to put a plan in place.

Our friends at Kronos have developed a web page dedicated to compliance under the Affordable Care Act. You can check it out here. The site contains information about the Act and its requirements. There are several great webinar recordings. One of the most interesting is called “Pay or Play: Determining Your Company’s Best Solution to the Affordable Care Act”.

They’ve also created an ebook covering the major provisions of the ACA. You can download it here.

Affordable Care Act, ACA, Kronos, strategy, employer, employees, compliance, ebook

In case you’re wondering why Kronos is doing this, it’s because one of the biggest challenges with the ACA is called the 30/130 rule. It’s the provision that says employees with more than 30 hours of service per week or 130 hours of service per month must be offered health care benefits. Companies will want to keep track of this to make sure they are in compliance. And Kronos has a solution to help with that tracking.

Because let’s face it, no company wants to keep track of this manually.

Affordable Care Act, ACA, Kronos, strategy, employer, employees, compliance, infographic

I hate admitting how old I am but this reminds me of when the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act were implemented. Pieces of legislation with a very large scope. It took months to put plans in place and communicate them. As human resources pros, we learned from each other. We figured it out.

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of co-hosting a TweetChat with Kronos and The Workforce Institute about the Affordable Care Act. You can download the archive here. It was an interesting conversation and reminded me of the importance in leveraging networks, relationships and partnerships to learn. We’re in this together. We’re all trying to figure it out. None of us has all the answers. But we will – eventually. And I commend Kronos for developing a forum for us to have a conversation.

If you’re looking for resources to help with implementation of the Affordable Care Act, I hope you’ll check out what Kronos has put together. It’s really good stuff. And if you have questions, leave them in the comments and we’ll work on getting answers for you.

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Catie Farrow May 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Thanks for posting Sharlyn! It’s certainly important for HR professionals to let their companies know that they’re listening, or manage expectations otherwise.

Kevin @ Growing Family Benefits June 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

What may be most difficult for employers to explain is what constitutes an “affordable” plan for workers with children and spouses. The law defines affordable as no more than 9.5% of the individual employees income going towards the employee only premium. Family plans can cost three times as much as the individual.
Kevin @ Growing Family Benefits recently posted..The Affordable Care Act and Infertility Treatments

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