Friday, October 1, 2010

HR pros focusing on health reform’s short-term implications

As they learn more about the new health reform law, human resource professionals are addressing its short-term implications, according to a poll by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

According to SHRM, 75 percent or more of organizations are:
  • Working with a legal or benefits counsel to better understand the law’s implications;
  • Sending staff to classes—including seminars and webcasts—to learn details of the law and its impact; and
  • Partnering with current health benefits providers to design 2011 plans to include areas affected by the law.
Analyzing financial impact. More than 50 percent of respondents say that their organizations are developing a cost analysis for their executives and analyzing the short-term financial impact of the law and the feasibility of offering health care. The larger the organization, the more likely it was taking these steps, SHRM found.

Start shifting to long-term strategies. “Although many organizations have been appropriately focused on the short-term implications of the law, attention should now be turning to more long-term strategies that consider both financial and human capital consequences,” says Mark Schmit, SHRM’s director of research.
    Maintaining grandfathered status. About one-third of HR professionals say that they are trying to maintain their organizations’ grandfathered status.  Health care plans that were in existence on March 23, 2010—the day that health reform was signed into law—are “grandfathered” in, meaning that they are exempted from some requirements. Among survey respondents, 11 percent said their organizations have decided not to maintain their grandfathered status.

    For more information. For a comprehensive analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and additional information on health reform and other developments in employee benefits, just click here.

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