For many small businesses, plans regarding health-care benefits are tinged with uncertainties entering Donald Trump’s presidency. What is certain is that, absent significant changes, the Affordable Care Act must be repealed.
In the run-up to the presidential election, no matter who was elected, many smaller company leaders were unsure whether the ACA was going to be eliminated or which provisions were going to be changed. This left many companies, particularly those in the $10 million to $50 million revenue range, on the sidelines, waiting for greater certainty before committing to and implementing longer-term, conforming makeovers to their health-care coverage.
Post-election, given the known opposition to the ACA by President-elect Donald Trump as well as Republican congressional leaders, substantive changes are expected.
Given the many convoluted provisions that mark the ACA, perhaps the best solution is total repeal, as changes affecting any particular provision of the law may also affect other provisions.
Should total repeal not be possible, surveys and focus groups conducted by Information Strategies, Inc. (ISI) suggest several provisions that appear to be the most important to change or eliminate:
Generally, smaller companies want lower health-care costs without a reduction in the quality of care, which can be achieved by offering CDH plans and most particularly HSAs. For companies in the $10 million to $50 million range, having employees more involved in the financial side of the health-care services area can reduce overall costs.
JoAnn M. Laing is chairperson of Information Strategies, Inc., which has served the small business and health-care sectors for 18 years through multiple online channels and books (“Small Business Guide to HSAs” and “Recalculating”). She has also created and chaired White House conferences on health savings accounts.