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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) brought sweeping new regulations along with difficult decisions for employers. While the employer “play or pay” mandate has been delayed until 2015, key features including the individual mandate and the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as “exchange”) will still go into effect on January 1, 2014. Furthermore, the exchange enrollment is slated to begin on October 1, 2013, leaving employers with little time to plan for this major change in the health insurance market. Small and mid-sized employers must now reevaluate their benefits offerings with these new exchanges in mind to make sure they are offering their employees competitive benefits at an affordable cost. Employers should follow the steps below to determine the best way to approach the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

Determine Whether Your Coverage Is Qualified

Employers who stay below 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees will not be subject to penalty once the employer mandate goes into effect in 2015. Employers at or above that mark will risk penalty if they do not provide minimum essential coverage at an affordable cost – making it a “qualified” plan. In 2015, those employers will be subject to penalty for each full-time employee who enrolls in the exchange and receives a subsidy for their coverage.

Consider Your Entire Benefit Package

Employers should consider their entire benefit package when deciding how to adjust to the new law. For some employers with less than 50 employees, it might make more sense to send employees to their spouse’s health insurance plan or to receive subsidized coverage through the exchanges while boosting their 401k contributions and ancillary benefits. Employers should work with their benefit managers on a case-by-case basis to maintain a competitive package that offers the greatest value to employees at the lowest cost to the employer.

Educate Yourself And Your Employees

Employees will expect employers and their HR departments to help guide them through this new process, so it is important that employers stay current and educated on the exchanges and other aspects of PPACA as the regulations evolve. Additionally, employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are required to issue a notice to all employees by October 1, 2013 regarding the existence of the PPACA-mandated public health insurance exchanges. Recently, the Department of Labor issued model notices employers may use to satisfy this notice obligation.

Learn More At Our Upcoming Seminar

Kolinsky Wealth Management is teaming up with AxisPointe and Paylocity to host a seminar providing the latest information, updates and strategies relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This exclusive seminar, set for Tuesday October 29 at 8:30 a.m. at the Saddle Brook Marriott, is designed for CPAs, CFOs, Accountants and HR professionals and has been approved for 2 CPE credits by the New Jersey Board of Accountancy and New York State Board for Public Accountants. For more information or to request an invitation, please contact Connie Poveromo at or 201-474-4011.

About Jason M. Kolinsky, CFP®

Jason Kolinsky is an Investment Advisor Representative with Kolinsky Wealth Management, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor, and Life and Health Insurance Producer for Kolinsky Financial Group, Inc. He joined the firm in 2007 and is a Registered Representative with American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Kolinsky Wealth Management and American Portfolios Financial Services are not affiliated. Jason obtained his Certified Financial Planner certification in 2012.