The launch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Health Insurance Marketplace opens up new opportunities to lower costs for small employers and employees. The ACA employer responsibility provision takes effect starting in 2015, and requires large employers, those with more than 50 Full-time equivalent employees (greater than 100 FTE in 2015 only), to provide health insurance to its full-time employees or face a penalty. Employers with fewer than 50 FTEs will not face a penalty if they do not offer their employees a group health plan.
The Marketplace is a health insurance exchange where individuals can compare and shop for commercial health plans and potentially qualify for subsidies to help pay for premiums and medical care, regardless of their health status. An offer of coverage through an employer makes employees ineligible for premium tax credits through the Marketplace. Conversely, if an employer does not offer a group health plan the employee may qualify for subsidies through the Marketplace (subsidies available only through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace). Employee may also choose to enroll in a plan that is outside the Marketplace without federal subsidies.
Through a proprietary analytical process, Focus Options, Focus OneSource provides options for employers that considers emotional and financial impacts to employees. This assessment provides employers information that allows them to make an informed decision about whether to continue to offer a group health plan to employees or engage with Focus OneSource in an Employer to Marketplace Transition Program.
Benefits to Employees:
- Continue to receive health insurance information and support from employer
- Access to a team of professionals to assist them with health plan options, enrollment and guidance throughout the year
- Premium costs may be significantly reduced due to premium tax credits (based on employee income) through the Marketplace and any additional bonus contribution from the employer
- Seamless payment of medical premium through payroll
- Wide variety of health plan options to choose from to best fit their medical and financial needs of each employee
Benefits to Employer:
- Allows employers to offer a benefit structure that enhances ability to recruit and retain quality employees
- Removes the burden of providing expensive group health insurance
- Premium amount continues to be deducted from employee paycheck to ensure premium is being paid
- Team of health insurance professionals to direct employees to with questions or plan updates.
- Allows employer to plan for future anticipated health care costs