• Florida Senate Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Reviews Related Employer Trends and Regulatory Impacts
  • January 18, 2013
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky Abate Webb P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • The Florida Senate Select Committee on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") met yesterday, January 14, 2013 to review employer impacts and trends relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Justin Kindy, Senior Vice President for Aon Hewitt, and Jon Urbanek, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Employer Markets with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, reviewed the PPACA impacts, which he explained differ among various employers, depending upon the health care benefits the employer provided prior to the legislation's enactment, and the size of the employer. Larger employers with more generous benefit plans will be impacted less than smaller employers with less generous benefits, he said.

    Employers may begin to require employees to meet criteria, such as participation in wellness programs, in order to gain full access to benefits. They also will now have to count seasonal employees toward determining whether or not the employee is full-time. Historically, employers have not had to count seasonal employees.

    A panel discussion on employer impacts was then conducted. The panel was composed of:

    • Justin Kindy, Senior Vice President, Aon Hewitt
    • Brad Register, Director of Compensation & Benefits, TECO Energy
    • Kevin Reynolds, Partner, Daszkal Bolton LLP
    • Jon Urbanek, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Employer Markets, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida
    • Kim Williams, President, Marpan Supply Company and Global CNC Solutions

    Mr. Williams provided a small employer's perspective. He stated that 2013 will be the first in 27 years that his company will not cover 100 percent of employees' health care coverage. He said he is thoroughly confused as to his responsibilities under the new law, and cannot determine the impact to his health care costs. He fears the unknown will cause some small employers to close their doors. Mr. Williams said he currently sees a conflict between paying for both health care and workers' compensation insurance, because workers are unable to use their health care coverage when injured on the job. He believes this conflict will escalate as his cost of providing health care coverage increases.

    Mr. Reynolds provides accounting and benefits management services to smaller businesses that will be required to comply with the PPACA. He stated that many small employers are hesitant to make further investments in their business until their responsibilities under the new law are clear. He also noted that an extreme administrative burden will accompany the implementation of the new requirements, further chilling investment activity.

    Mr. Register from TECO provided a perspective from a large employer that is completely self-insured. Through 2009, TECO offered three separate health insurance plans and experienced large premium increases. In 2009, the company began to offer two high-deductible plans, which they seeded to help offset costs. It also increased its offering of wellness and diseases management programs. Many of the provisions of the PPACA are already met by TECO health care plans.

    Mr. Register said that the PPACA's administrative burden is already adding cost to TECO's operations, and that there are also additional tax burdens created by the law that have led TECO to make some changes to retiree health insurance programs.