affordable care act
Employee Benefits

Good News: Employers Don’t Need 51 Votes to Manage Their Health Plans!

Ed Oleksiak
Ed Oleksiak
Sr. Vice President, Employee Benefits

I think we’ve all been watching the news unfold lately…and if you haven’t been, you no doubt have heard about the “little” thing going on with healthcare. You know…the one that involves the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare, as some affectionately call it)…and impacts nearly everyone.

If not, let me get you up to speed. The GOP (Republican party) controls the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. First order of business was to replace the ACA. However, they needed 60 votes in the Senate to make a change to the ACA legislatively…and they didn’t have those votes.

Option two…they were left with the reconciliation process. This only required 51 votes in the Senate. Seemed easy. Well…that didn’t go so well. There’s still some noise to force a repeal vote. It’s an interesting news headline that won’t likely go anywhere.

All this talk about “votes” made me think…what takes only one vote and you’re in charge of it? Your own health plan! As an employer, you can transform your health plan on your own…you don’t need an act of Congress to do so. 170 million individuals get health insurance through their employers. What does the fate of Obamacare have to do with your business? The answer is, for now, not a whole lot. But if you manage the benefits at your company, you can impact more change than anything Congress will do.

Now, I don’t want to minimize the fact employers must still contend with the abundance of regulations stemming from the ACA. The 30-hour rule, reporting, the cost-sharing restriction, and the many others still remain.

So for now, here’s the best advice I have for you as employers…continue what you were doing before the last election and before the ACA. Manage your healthcare risks and costs. Look to see if there’s a way to make changes to lower your price and use. And lastly, reach out to me or any of our Holmes Murphy staff with questions! What’s going on in the healthcare world is tricky and ever-changing. We’ve been analyzing every move that’s been made and can help you navigate your plans. Just reach out!

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