Benefits administration is an onerous task for businesses of any size, and the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has added a further layer of complexity to the process, particularly for small and mid-size companies. Whereas once employers had the freedom to decide whether or not to offer health care to their team, now businesses with 50 or more workers are bound by a federal mandate to provide insurance coverage. For SMBs, the added expense of benefits plans combined with the resources needed to administer programs successfully can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line.
The insurer warned the government in a July letter that it would be financially forced to step back its participation in the individual insurance exchanges if the DOJ tried to block its $28 billion purchase of Humana. Guess what happened, writes Max Nisen.