Basics of “Obamacare” Three Things Every Employer Should Know

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or more colloquially, “Obamacare”) affects virtually all employers – from small family businesses to large publicly traded corporations. The ACA is complex, and there is still some uncertainty about how its implementation will affect the employer-based system of health insurance in the United States. But let’s begin with the basics. Here are three things employers should know about the ACA:

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Health Care

New mandates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “Obamacare”) will affect nearly all employers in Pennsylvania. Beginning in 2015, the law will require “large employers” – those with 100 or more “full time” employees – to offer health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty to the IRS. Under the ACA, a full-time employee is defined as an individual who is employed an average of 130 hours per month (30 hours per week). The coverage mandate extends to “mid-size employers” – those with more than 50 full-time employees – in 2016. Currently, all employers – even those with fewer than 50 employees – must provide a “notice of coverage options” to employees that explains the employer’s group insurance benefits and/or the availability of individual insurance purchased through a health care exchange.

Baulig Law can assist employers in determining which provisions of PPACA apply to them and when they must be in compliance. There is still much uncertainty about this new law, but we are continuously monitoring developments to ensure that our clients have the information they need to make informed decisions about their health insurance plans. Employers who maintain employee medical records may also be subject to state and federal laws requiring them to be maintained in separate, confidential files.