With the June 2012 Healthcare Reform ruling, this leaves many HR and benefit administrators scratching their heads wondering what the coming presidential election will bring. In terms of employee benefit coverage, a vast majority of companies have already put plans in action to cover eligible employees, anticipating this action. Yet, there are some who are still waiting to update their benefit coverage.

A recent Society for Human Resources Management article indicated that Mercer had polled 4,000 benefit administrators about how the 2012 election is influencing their benefits decisions. The results of the poll were concerning, with “40 percent [saying] they will begin taking action now that the court has ruled, another 16 percent [saying] they will continue to wait until after the November 2012 elections to start implementing any mandated efforts in 2013 and the balance of 2012.” This indicates there are still many companies on the fence about what to do with their employee benefit programs.

On the other side of the coin are the employer groups who are choosing to drop coverage and then pay the fines, which could be lower than the premium costs. A 2011 Kaiser Family Foundation study revealed that the average yearly cost for an employer-sponsored family health insurance plan is $10,944 as of the date of the survey. It’s closer to $12,000 today. Which poses the question – is it ethical to drop coverage now, just a save a few dollars?

There are some factors to consider, as we face the uncertainty of the upcoming election.

  1. Are your employee benefit costs manageable, and can your company find lower cost options for supplemental insurance to save on these costs?
  2. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, how will that affect your employees who fall outside of the eligibility requirements?
  3. How is your company promoting wellness and health prevention measures to reduce healthcare premiums?
  4. Can you leverage full benefit coverage as part of your recruitment strategy in a well-rounded total compensation package and recoup your expenses?

Feel free to post your feedback and comments below – The HR Writer would like to hear from you!
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