Pay or play? A strategic HR response to PPACA

By Timothy Wojcik

Source: eba.benefitnews.com

With the recent Supreme Court ruling now finalized and the minimum essential health insurance provisions in place, companies have begun to ask us “What’s next?”  or “What will the financial impact be for our company in 2014?” My belief is that by taking a proactive approach to the individual mandate and understanding the impact on your company’s financials, you will be able to make that critical decision whether to continue offering a group health care plan or allow employees to elect coverage through the state mandated exchanges.

Based on external research, a recent study by Deloitte has found that approximately one in ten employers in the U.S. intend to “Pay” the penalty imposed on employers for opting out of group health coverage.  This number, however, does not reflect an additional 10% of employers who weren’t sure if they would continue coverage.  An overarching theme heard from our clients is that the benefits program offered today is instrumental in attracting, retaining, and engaging employees.

Ultimately, the decision to Pay or Play is a strategic HR decision which will not only impact the company’s fixed costs, but also the level of engagement and retention within the company.  A thorough analysis delicately weighing the financial and non-financial factors must occur to ensure that the decision falls in line with the company’s overall business and HR strategy.