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June 26, 2015

How the Supreme Court’s Latest ACA Ruling Effects Companies

Staffing Services CEOBy Tom Ramsey,  Total Placement

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the Affordable Care Act is a permanent feature whether you agree with it or not. So, after the court’s confirmation, what’s next for businesses?

Employer groups are already renewing efforts to change a few aspects of the plan. One area of the ACA regulation they hope to change is eliminating the penalty for Cadillac healthcare plans. The description “Cadillac” is being applied to any health plan offering better benefits to higher paid employees regardless of how small the benefit may be.  Any increase in benefits qualifies it as “Cadillac” and therefore penalized. Different plants have been acceptable for as long as anyone can remember and companies are hoping to retain this option.

Likewise, employer groups are seeking to remove several other penalties tied to employees who refuse company coverage only to opt for subsidized coverage in the exchanges.  The consensus is if ACA is here to stay,  let’s try to make it a little more palatable, not to forget less cumbersome reporting requirements. Reporting requirements are extensive, under the jurisdiction of the IRS, and need to be streamlined.  Compliance for some new reports currently being considered is near impossible.

For companies with 50 plus employees hoping the court ruling would eliminate the necessity of mandatory health insurance for 2016, the ruling seems to have laid that possibility to rest.  This segment of companies received a 2015 reprieve from the Affordable Health Care law, but must comply by 2016.  You can be certain they will try to extend this exemption, but not many believe this will occur a second time after the administration’s present successes.

Lastly, a major employer group often overlooked – staffing firms. Over the course of a year, staffing firms hired over 14 million employees. Quality focused staffing firms chose to comply with ACA in 2015 to enhance employee health and well-being, while other staffing firms made the conscience decision that compliance was not in their best interest. However, 2016 will level the playing field as non-compliant staffing firms will be forced to comply as well.

It appears ObamaCare is here to stay. In what form it will remain after a Washington DC regime change is yet to be known.