The most recent Quarterly Volatility & Variables Poll conducted by the Business Performance Innovation Network (BPI) in association with Adaptive Planning revealed healthcare reform as the top concern for today’s CFOs.
As the “Obamacare” deadlines approach, many businesses are still trying to understand what they mean, and how to prepare for them.
In a July 2 column on whitehouse.gov, Valerie B. Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, addressed business concerns about healthcare reform and noted that the government is working with employers, insurers, and industry experts to simplify financial reporting processes for businesses.
The best explanation we’ve found about the effect that Obamacare provisions will have on businesses was written by freelance journalist Alix Stuart in Proformative – an online resource and professional network for senior finance professionals. You can find Stuart’s full article here, but it’s a bit lengthy. So we’ve done some groundwork for you and pulled out the following main points.
· According to a recent survey by Towers Watson, only 26 percent of employers are very confident their company will be offering health care benefits 10 years from now, down from 57 percent in 2009.
· In 2015, employers with more than 50 employees must offer all employees who work 30 or more hours per week an insurance plan that meets minimum value and care standards, and is also considered affordable – premiums can’t be more than 9.5 percent of the lowest-paid employee’s salary (the Obama administration provided a one-year delay on this mandate for employers).
· If an employer doesn’t offer health care at all and an employee seeks a subsidized plan through a yet-to-materialize state or federal exchange, the employer then faces a fine of $2,000 per employee… (if) a plan turns out not to be affordable and an employee approaches the exchange, businesses will suffer a fine of $3,000 per affected employee.
According to Stuart, finance executives are looking into several options in order to prepare for these new provisions.
“High-deductible plans, plans in which employees must pay 100 percent of costs up to a certain dollar amount…employers fund some or all of that out-of-pocket spend through health care savings accounts (HSAs) or health care reimbursement accounts (HRAs).”
2. Team Up with Others
“Allowing businesses to band together to purchase health care from a variety of insurers is already taking root. In Massachusetts…several industry associations have developed purchasing co-operatives that allow their members to earn discounts from insurers on wellness programs.”
3. Get to the Root of Health Costs
“Some companies are attacking the problem at its source – the cost of care. Besides offering more wellness programs to help curb unhealthy behaviors…companies are exploring alternative forms of health care, such as online consultations with medical experts and flat-rate primary care.”
Recall that a study conducted in late May by Gartner and the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) found that CFOs are turning to new business intelligence (BI), analytics, and corporate performance management (CPM) technologies to improve over 75 percent of their top business process and automation issues. With that in mind, how will technology play a role in helping your business to simplify new financial reporting procedures brought about by healthcare reform?
Share your insight with Adaptive on Facebook, Twitter, or the Addicted to Adaptive Blog, and look for upcoming Adaptive events related to healthcare reform as part of the Adaptive Keynote Speaker Series.