Like it or not, it looks like healthcare reform is here to stay. That means employers have some major decisions to make.
That’s because in a little over a year, the cornerstone requirement of the law will take effect: The majority of businesses must offer employees health insurance or pay a penalty.
And while the decision for employers not to offer health insurance to employees seemed unthinkable just a few years ago, things have changed.
So here are the major issues that need to be understood when your firm decides whether it should pay or play.
Should we pay?
It’s hard to argue that the decision not to offer insurance coverage to employees is a very cost-effective one.
Consider the following statistics: The average premium right now is around $5,000 annually for employees with single coverage and $15,000 for workers with family coverage.
The penalty for not offering healthcare coverage is just $2,000 per employee.
But where would this move leave you if your company was part of a very small percentage of businesses that went this route?
After all, if your company is part of a small segment that doesn’t offer health benefits, it’ll put you at a serious disadvantage in terms of attracting and hanging on to good employees.
However, there’s a significant amount of research that says many employers will stop offering coverage.
But only time will tell if employers will actually stop offering health insurance.
Should we play?
It’s safe to assume that the largest organizations will continue to offer health care to their workers regardless. So the pay or play decision really impacts the small- to mid-size firms. And if you’re among the organizations that plans to keep offering health benefits, there are plenty of advantages.
For one thing, study after study confirms that employees believe comprehensive benefits are virtually as important as their paychecks.
That means if many of your peers drop their health benefits, you’ll have a serious advantage over the competition – and should be able to scoop up the most-talented candidates because of it.