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Employers Get Ready for Health Care Changes

By Evelina Burnett | Published 06 Jun 2013 10:02pm | comments

Mississippi employers are getting ready for changes to their health care requirements in 2014, when new rules mandated by the Affordable Care Act will go into effect. The Mississippi Manufacturers Association devoted one full morning of their annual conference this week to a topic that is on many employers’ minds: health care. Specifically, the impact of new rules set out by the Affordable Care Act. The experts’ main advice to employers is to start planning now. David Donnell, an attorney with Adams and Reese, notes that health insurance enrollment for 2014 begins in October and the decisions made then will impact employers. 

Dunnell says the regulations will affect businesses of all sizes. Brian Hawkins is the owner and founder of Hawkeye Industries in Tupelo. He currently pays 100 percent of his 31 employees’ health insurance. After listening to the panel, his advice is to anyone is to talk to an expert. 

Pepper Crutcher, an attorney with Balch and Bingham, says the complexity of the law is going to mean additional work for employers over the long run too, and they may want to consider outsourcing the administration or hiring new people to do it. 

Dunnell says even small businesses will want to take a look at the new regulations because fluctuations in staff, with seasonal or part-time workers, could affect the rules that apply to them. During a panel discussion, one participant estimated that the small group market will see premium increases of 20 to 45 percent next year, when these regulations take effect.

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