(Note: we are not trying to pick sides here. We are merely giving you the facts on the current situation business owners face pertaining to health insurance in the 2012 election. Any perceived partisan slant is merely coincidental.)

In a few weeks, it’s either going to be Obama or Romney in the White House and whoever sits in the Oval Office could end up costing you more than you think.

As it stands with now, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, also known as Obamacare) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. In addition to requiring some individuals to obtain and retain qualifying health care coverage, the Act also imposes certain requirements on employers depending on the number of employees. For example, if you employ 50 or more full-time employees, you can choose to provide health insurance for all of your employees or pay a hefty penalty for failing to do so (not a great choice, but one you will have to make). Different levels of employees (like 26-49 employees and 26 and fewer) could mean different levels of coverage and potentially a tax credit. You can learn more here: https://www.ncsl.org/documents/health/SBtaxCredits.pdf

So were do we stand here in Kansas on health insurance reform?
Essentially, right now we are in a waiting period. Under the PPACA, the states have the right to choose whether they want to dictate their minimum level of coverage a business can offer or if they leave that up to the Federal Government. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback stated in a story for the Lawrence-Journal World that he is waiting to see who comes out on top as President. If Obama wins, he will have until November 16th to create Kansas’ minimum level of standard coverage. If Romney wins, Brownback feels that many of the requirements of the law will be waived.

So what does that mean for your business?
If Brownback doesn’t set up a minimum level of insurance your business would have to carry, your business would be subject to the sanctions of the Federal Government. However, he has been given a recommendation by Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger that calls for companies to offer the same coverage as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas in their comprehensive plan for small groups plus additional coverage for children’s eyes and dental care.

In short:
So, if Obama is reelected, your business could be required to carry a health insurance plan for each employee that is full-time and the current minimum recommended standard would be that of a small group through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. If you don’t offer this plan to your employees, you could face an annual fine from the Federal Government. If you have opten not to offer your employees insurance, say to maintain a level of profitability, PPACA would force you to offer insurance or pay that penalty. This change could be disastrous for many businesses if not planed and budgeted for the 2014 start.

If all of this sounds confusing or you are worried about what your company would have to offer, call Bill Maness, CEO of Syndeo HRO at 316-630-9107 or bmaness@syndeohro.com. We will get your straightened out and help you overcome the stress of health insurance for your employees.