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Are You Focused on the Most Important Part of Health Care Reform?

The focus of much of the current conversation on Health Care Reform has to do with compliance with the numerous and ever-changing regulations included in PPACA.  While ensuring compliance with the employer responsibility component of PPACA is extremely important (effective 1/1/2015 employers with 50 or more Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) must offer “affordable” “essential health coverage” to all full time (30+ hours per week) employees or face a penalty), many employers are forgetting a critical first step.

Employers must take this opportunity to strategically align their benefits program as a key component of their total rewards to ensure that those total rewards are effectively recruiting and retaining the necessary talent to reach the organization’s overall strategic goals and objectives.  

Rarely are we given an opportunity to examine the role of benefits at the core level.  PPACA provides all of us with that opportunity.  As an employer, ask yourself questions such as:  What part do benefits play in finding the right people for the right positions, and keeping them in those positions?  Do benefits currently (or will they) differentiate my organization in the marketplace for talent?  Do benefits play little to no part at all?  Is some of the paternalistic pressure of ensuring coverage for employees diminished with available coverage at the state Exchanges and removal of pre-existing condition limitations?  Is direct compensation more appealing to our targeted talent?  

Asking questions such as these will allow you to not only comply with PPACA but leverage it as both an internal catalyst for strategic discussion and targeted strategic alignment for the recruitment and retention of your most valuable asset – your employees.  If you’re unsure where to begin in your planning for Health Care Reform, begin with a strategic discussion on the role of benefits in achieving the desire strategic outcomes of your organization.

Posted on July 08, 2013 by Ben Cohen, CEBS - Practice Leader, Health and Welfare Benefits

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