Todays benefit advisers need to be prepared to face difficult questions from clients about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their business. Clients want to know that their current health plan strategy will hold up in the future, wont impose unnecessary penalties and meets regulatory requirements.
They need to understand the additional taxes they are paying in their plans, the impact of dropping coverage and how coverage compares if employees enroll in the pubic exchanges. For many advisers and these clients the calculations are being done on the back of an envelope, with a lack of accuracy and necessary insight. For many small employers who have seen their old plans grandfathered and grandmothered, community rates are now starting to gain hold making the math of those plans more difficult.
Initially with the passage of the ACA, one brokerage, Group Alternatives, spent countless hours analyzing census data in excel and pulling information into reports for client meetings. These reports provided insight into plan funding, pay versus play and exposure to penalties but lacked the full picture of the ACA impact. Early last year they started using HealthCostManager, a compressive tool for creating client-ready reports that address a broader perspective of plan sponsorship and the ACA. That tool enabled them to provide clients with a wealth of data on all of the aspects of the ACA from taxes, penalties, funding alternatives as well as what their employee subsidy and exchange plan options would look like.
Mike Baker, President of Group Alternatives saw the immediate impact when he started bringing out HealthCostManager reports to his clients. HealthCostManager
The report that our clients expect to receive from our team.
The report provides a clear, condensed summary of the ACA's impact on each clients specific situation, says Mike Baker, president of Group Alternatives. Additionally, HealthCostManager quantifies the impact to the employees in regards to HealthCare.gov and subsidies. My team appreciates how quickly the reports are generated and modified.
The brokerage now provides these detailed reports to all clients, allowing them to better plan how cover their employees in health plans and the overall financial impact of doing so.
This is a critical goal as clients consider their options in 2015 and beyond.
Michael Weiskirch is a principal at EmployeeTech Inc. He can be reached at (847) 236 1932.
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