Why employees need to be educated about Obamacare?

Benefit education has long been considered a key component of a successful employee benefit program. However, engaging employees and helping them recognize the value of their program is not easy. It takes ongoing efforts of HR managers with support from senior management.

The Affordable Care Act creates another new wrinkle for HR managers.  So, what is best to get your employee’s attention — and why it’s so important?

In addition to the mandated communication material and benefit changes, there are other communications employers should be aware of.  The government has a daunting task of educating and informing millions of the state’s uninsured of the new coverage and subsidies available to them through Covered CA, the state’s new health insurance marketplace, and the expansion of Medi-CAL.  To get the word out, the government will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in a broad and expansive advertising campaign starting this month (July).

Employers are also going to be participating in the campaign, as they are required by the Department of Labor to send out a model notice regarding coverage and options in the Covered CA marketplace.

Covered CA and their corresponding advertising campaign are focused on the uninsured, who may be eligible for Medi-CAL or subsidized plans offered through Covered CA.  However, if the employer’s plan provides adequate and affordable coverage, the employees eligible for the plan will not qualify for any subsidized coverage through Covered CA, unless they are eligible for Medi-CAL.

We anticipate employees to be thoroughly confused because unless explained adequately, why would his employer be sending him a notice of the new health insurance marketplace with subsidized coverage, when, in fact, he is not eligible for a subsidy.

Also, employees may misinterpret or misunderstand the message of the government’s advertising and think that by dropping coverage, they may get a better deal through Covered CA, or worse, believe that their benefits are not as valuable as they are.

Employers can ease the confusion and problems through early communication with their employees.  They can lay out the facts of the advertising campaign, the benefit changes coming at their 2014 renewal, and reinforce the quality of their own plan.

Although the employer mandate was delayed until 2015, those employers currently offering health benefits there are still many changes that have happened and will happen in 2014.

By partnering with Van Beurden Insurance we can help you effectively communicate and educate your employees of the changes and help reinforce just how valuable having access to an employer sponsored plan is and will continue to be.

Brad Knerr

bknerr@vanbeurden.com

Sales Associate | Los Osos