Lockton Advises Employers to Focus on Immediate Health Reform Changes
KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Health reform enacted into law Tuesday means short-term and long-term changes for employers. Lockton, a leading employee benefits consultant, advises employers to remain patient and focus first on provisions that take effect as early as October of this year.
On a webinar, Ed Fensholt, an attorney and Lockton's Director of Compliance for employee benefits, outlined several provisions that mean action by year's end for most employers with health insurance programs:
- First Dollar Preventive Care– The new law requires health plans to pay all the charges for preventive health services like regular wellness exams and cancer screenings.
- No Lifetime and Annual Benefit Limits – Annual and lifetime benefit limits are no longer allowed under the new law. This leaves limited medical plans or "mini-med" plans with an uncertain future, Fensholt says.
- Adult Child Coverage – Benefit plans must offer health coverage for adult children up to age 26.
Fensholt urges employers to remain patient as guidelines and rules emerge. "Take a deep breath," he says. "We expect specific guidance on these and other provisions of the law. And of course, the reconciliation bill adjusts many of these provisions. We are still early in this process."
Lockton noted that the biggest changes for employers roll out in 2014. The biggest is a requirement that employers with 50 or more workers provide medical insurance for their full-time employees at an affordable cost. The law imposes penalties for such employers that do not provide it.
Lockton will offer another free webinar on health reform on Thursday, March 25 at 2 p.m. Central Time.
More than 3,800 professionals at Lockton provide more than 15,000 clients around the world with insurance, benefits, surety and risk management services, offering an uncommon level of client service. From its founding in 1966 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Lockton has grown to become the largest privately held insurance broker in the world and 10th largest overall. Business Insurance has recognized Lockton as a "Best Place to Work in Insurance." You can learn more at www.lockton.com.