PPACA Ruling Answers Some Questions, Leaves Others Hanging
The wait is over -- sort of.
Companies that had been delaying action on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) should now start making plans to comply, experts say. Yet while the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in June preserved the law, the full impact of PPACA's regulations remains to be seen.
For now, employers should prepare to meet the most immediate requirements, according to the law firm Morgan Lewis. In a recent web posting, the firm notes that companies should pay attention to the provisions that apply in 2012 and 2013, including:
- Reporting medical coverage value on 2012 W-2s
- Preparing to receive and properly distribute any medical loss ratio rebates
- Preparing to provide a summary of benefits and coverage in their 2013 enrollment packet
- Finishing updates to their summary plan description for any plan design changes from PPACA in 2011 and 2012
- Implementing an annual $2,500 cap on health care spending account contributions (beginning with 2013 plan years)
- Preparing for the patient-centered outcomes fee due in July 2013 ($1 per covered life for 2012. Insurers will remit the fee for fully insured plans; self-insured plans will pay it directly.)
Some other requirements, however, are far from crystal clear, according to a report in Business Insurance. The IRS and other agencies are expected to release more guidance in the coming months, which should clear up some questions for employers. Yet the federal government itself and many states likely won't be able to meet all the deadlines on actions required to actually implement many of the major provisions, which start in 2014, according to Kaiser Health News.
Some experts say that, barring a major political change in Washington, employers will be coping with PPACA in the years to come. Still, nothing can be ruled out until after the November elections, others note.
"Other chapters in the political front [regarding PPACA] have yet to be written," Dave Guilmette of Cigna Corp. told Business Insurance.
If you want to get involved in the conversation, you’ll want to attend the State of Reform Health Policy Conference, September 27. Get involved early and drive the decisions that are being made today.
What is your biggest concern around the implementation of PPACA? Comment below.