Healthcare Reform is Approaching!

· by Herb Dew

Herb is the CEO of HTI. He founded HTI in 1999 along with John Knight and David Sewell, and remains heavily involved in the organization today.
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It’s amazing how much time I have spent over the last two years studying the healthcare bill and its impact on businesses. I had hoped that the bill would be struck down, delayed or modified. But now the hour is approaching where all companies will begin to understand the “fine print” and really see the impact it has individually on each company.

Will it create a strain on our economy? I think so. Will it be devastating? I am not sure. I wish I had a crystal ball. I will say this, it will fundamentally change healthcare and the landscape of business for everyone over time. Companies with more than 50 employees that do not have a full indemnity health insurance program for all of their employees will be faced with accepting one of three choices: 1. Modifying work schedules so they employ people for less than 30 hours a week; 2. Providing a plan that provides insurance to all of their employees; 3. Pay the penalties prescribed under the new health bill ($2000-3500 per associate).

Additionally, if you currently provide insurance or plan to do so, that insurance has to be “affordable”. That means that the company must cover enough of the cost so that an employees’ cost does not exceed 9.5% of his/her gross earnings.

So here’s an interesting question I heard from an attorney speaking at a function:  What happens when a major company realizes that, instead of providing a $10,000 per employee health insurance program, they can just pay a $3500 penalty? How much does everyone reading this want to bet that within the next 5 years some major companies roll up their health insurance programs in lieu of the government program?

At HTI, we have accepted the inevitability of this bill and responded accordingly. We will be prepared for the changeover in 2014 and adjust.

At some point in the future, the government will realize the cost of what they have enacted. I just hope companies will have the energy and money to adjust to the whims of government again.

Healthcare Reform is Approaching!