As the ACA evolves to the AHCA or whatever is next, offering good benefits is the still best plan for employers

Re-examining your healthcare benefits management throughout 2017

After spending years first understanding and then changing plans and processes to comply with the ACA/Obamacare, employers are bracing themselves to determine what will happen next. Proposed amendments and new legislation ensure that employer obligations regarding health care are by no means settled. It’s essential that employers keep an eye on changes that may impact them, including tax repeals that will require payroll processing adjustments, elimination of the tax penalties associated with the employer mandate, and executive repeal of some of the ACA’s more burdensome reporting requirements. The good news is that if you’ve invested in a good benefits administration software, integrated with the rest of your HCM system, the time-consuming aspects of coming changes will be mitigated through automated updates so you can stay focused on offering the best benefits to attract and retain top talents.

How to approach benefits management in turbulent times

As health care reform evolves, employer-provided benefits are expected to become more important to employees, so employers should plan to continue to provide competitive options to attract top talent. High-value plans will likely no longer be subject to employer or employee taxes and as a result, offering richer plans will help your organization stand out to the highly-skilled workers who will be in increasing demand as global talent wars escalate. However, being an employer of choice requires more than just good healthcare benefits. In today’s more mobile workplace, employees value and often expect to access and manage benefits through a benefits administration software that provides 24/7 access to the information they need to get the most from their health and other benefits plans. Benefits management systems can be a strong ally in recruitment and retention, particularly because it makes the benefits enrollment process simple for employees and dependents, adding further value to your overall benefits offering.

Placing more control of health care spending in employees hands requires effective health care benefits management

Most employer-sponsored health care plans include one or more form of pre-tax health care spending/savings account options. Proposed legislation provides for the expansion of these popular benefit plans, with increases in the amount employees are permitted to set-aside or save to cover health care expenses and also proposes to expand the availability of funds to cover over-the-counter medications and related items that had been restricted through Obama care. As a result, these plans will become more desirable to employees, so those employers not offering them should consider adding flexible spending accounts and HRAs or HSAs to their benefits offerings. To help ensure that employees have optimum access to the funds they’ve diverted to these accounts, top employers are wise to utilize a benefits administration software platform that will provide web access and the ability to manage and direct funds 24/7.

Employer-sponsored health care and health care benefits management remain  a staple of an employer’s value proposition

No matter what changes may be coming to employer-sponsored health care, the fact remains that employees value their benefits. Consider these stats: 68% of employers believe that health benefit plans plans affect their reputations and can raise employee morale and satisfaction, and 75% of employers say that retaining and attracting quality employees were important outcomes of benefits. In a time of increasing confusion for employees who read the headlines about repeals or amendments to Obama care, employers can serve as a source of information and assurance. Demonstrate your continued commitment to providing great benefits and also empower your employees to feel confident and in control of their health care benefits through access and transparency via strong health care benefits management. In times of uncertainty, your best course of an employer is to offer high-quality health benefits and easy access to the tool needed to manage those benefits.

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