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California Corporate Board Diversity
Employer-sponsored health insurance is the foundation of health care coverage in the United States, providing quality, affordable health benefits to more than 181 million Americans. However, since its enactment, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has posed challenges for employers due to the complexity of the law, delays in effective dates of certain provisions, and coverage and reporting requirements. While the employer coverage mandates and state public exchange plans remain in effect, the individual mandate penalty has been reduced to zero and implementation of the 40 percent excise tax on employers that provide high-value health plans, known as the “Cadillac tax,” has been delayed. In addition, health care costs continue to rise for employers and employees alike.
As a result of the rising cost of coverage and impending implementation of the excise tax, many organizations are changing their health care benefits offerings or turning to other health care design strategies, such as health savings accounts, private exchanges, wellness programs, and disease management programs. In addition, some employers have opted to eliminate health care coverage for part-time employees, while others have re-engineered staffing models to reduce employee hours below the 30-hour threshold to avoid triggering the coverage requirement. Furthermore, complex rules for tracking employee hours to determine eligibility for the 30-hour requirement and compliance with the ACA reporting requirements have proved to be a complicated administrative burden with increased costs for employers.
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