Helping Biz Prepare for Obamacare

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"http://www.ninecakes.com/media/buyonline//#here">EMPLOYMENT:herzEmployers are reminded that while the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) will be adopted in full in 2014, parts of it become effective in 2013. Now is the time for business owners and managers to educate themselves about their duties and responsibilities so they can incorporate the new mandate, notes the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), the state’s largest business group.

“Kind of a hodgepodge of different regulations goes into effect, "site//#">. says CBIA Assistant Counsel Jennifer Herz, whose focus is health-care policy. It is confusing to a lot of folks, and that’s one "http:////#visit_us">visit us our concerns. "site//#">.

Many smaller companies, which might not have the resources to devote to examining minute details of the new law, may be especially apprehensive, according to Herz.

“I think it [implementing new policy] is sometimes very overwhelming for small employers.”

But there are certain requirements, leading up to PPACA’s complete implementation next January 1, that employers should be conscientious about addressing in upcoming months, says Herz.

For example, by March 1 of this year employers must offer employees written information about the PPACA-instituted state health insurance exchange, eligibility for tax credits and employer contribution.

Also, businesses that file at least 250 W-2 forms must include on each employee form the value of group health plan sponsored by the employer, beginning with the 2012 tax year.

In addition, employers should take note that as of January 1, 2013, the maximum amount that can be held in a Flexible Spending Account is $2,500 (the amount will be adjusted for inflation in upcoming years).

CBIA is reaching out to help companies understand the new policy by offering webinars, workshops and other assistance, including a private discussion with company managers. She encourages businesses to take advantage of CBIA as an information resource.

“I would certainly be happy to talk to groups,” says Herz, who has an insider’s view of the inner workings of government and policy formation and implementation. Although she was in private practice before joining the CBIA staff, her professional experience prior to that includes clerkships with the General Assembly and with the state Elections Enforcement Commission.

“CBIA certainly is here to help anybody,” Herz says. “We really want to be able to help as many businesses as possible.”

Herz welcomes inquiries from businesses about the healthcare mandate. She can be reached via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

— Felicia Hunter

 

 
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