RILA Warns Employers to Mind The Gap

Man falls and spills his coffeeThe Retail Industry Leaders Association is raising its voice to point out areas that have been neglected in discussions about the Affordable Care Act. Wary of the lack of guidelines for employers who provide employer-sponsored health coverage to employees, RILA stresses the implications of changes that result from the ACA beginning in 2014. “For more than 60 years, most Americans, and millions of retail employees, have relied on health coverage sponsored by their employer,” writes Sandy Kennedy, RILA president, “yet this could all soon change and no one seems to be paying much attention. With less than a year and a half before the law takes effect, hundreds of regulations have yet to be revealed by the Obama Administration.”

Unclear Edges Pose the Most Danger

Areas of concern Kennedy outlines include the definition of a full-time employee and a number of tests necessary for employers to determine the extent of coverage to be provided. The ACA prohibits an employee’s share of monthly premiums from exceeding 9.5 percent of household income and requires an employer to cover 60 percent of the total cost of benefits, but there is no provision in the Act for how an employer is supposed to acquire information about household totals. Employees who cover their entire household with one working member’s insurance could prove problematic to employers attempting to come up with firm numbers. Other areas of concern tax penalties and the vagueness of details about reporting requirements. With so little information clearly defined, RILA’s concern about complying with the ACA continues to grow. “One thing is for sure,” Kennedy writes. “The longer the Administration delays, the higher the risk will be. The task of complying may prove too great for employers, and employees who receive health coverage through their employer may lose the coverage they like.”

 

Source: Sandy Kennedy for RetailingToday.com

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