April '14

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68 • RV PRo • April 2014 rv-pro.com that provides minimum value and is afford- able for at least 70 percent of its full-time employees. If not, the dealership could have to pay a fee of up to $3,000 per year per full- time employee for each full-time employee that receives subsidized coverage through a health insurance marketplace. (Note: Employees may also choose to buy coverage voluntarily through a marketplace even if their employer offers qualifying and affordable coverage. However, they wouldn't be entitled to receive subsidized coverage and wouldn't be able to apply any portion of their employer's contribution for health care insurance toward coverage purchased via a marketplace.) On the other hand, suppose that another RV dealership has 10 full-time employees, and its management has determined that it's not subject to the mandate. e dealership would not be subject to the fee of $3,000 per full-time employee for not offering the mandated coverage. In fact, it may be eligible for subsidized coverage. at dealership would have the opportunity to pool its risk with other small businesses, bringing them increased pur- chasing power, which should allow them to obtain higher quality coverage at lower costs. Tackling the Purchase Decision To minimize uncertainty, business leaders should use the additional planning time afforded them by the transition relief to eval- uate the impact of reform on their companies, then determine how to comply with the law's legal and administrative requirements, even if they choose not to offer health care coverage to their employees. Once senior managers are educated on the implications for their busi- ness, they can begin to develop a healthcare compliance strategy. Moreover, given that enforcement of the coverage mandate won't begin until 2015 for employers of 100 or more and 2016 for employers of 50-99 (subject to certain condi- tions), employers can use 2014 to calculate their actual costs as if the mandate had been in place. ey also can assess any technical or systems issues and communicate with regula- tors about problems they've encountered or issues that have been brought up for public comment in order to address them before actual implementation begins. At that point, business leaders can eval- uate their options and tackle the purchase decision. As an employer, one of the first questions to ask yourself is this: How much can you spend on group coverage? In order for plans to be qualified under the law, they must provide for 60 percent coverage. Also, bear in mind the affordability provisions of the ACA: ey define "affordable" as costing no more than 9.5 percent of the employee's W-2 income with that particular employer for employee-only coverage. Businesses may want to consult with an insurance broker to help decide which plan provides the right balance of cost and benefits – a unique decision that depends on the ages and income levels of the employer's workforce as well as the company's budget. Carefully Managing Costs Employers can take steps right now to begin managing their health care-related costs. According to the annual National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans by Mercer LLC, the average total health benefit cost per employee was expected to increase 5 percent in 2013, compared to 6.1 percent in 2011 and 4.1 percent in 2012. e average all-in cost was $10,558 per employee in 2012. Mercer has noted that "workforce health management" – essentially implementing policies to encourage health-conscious behav- iors – has emerged as employers' preferred strategy for controlling health care spending. For example, to encourage people to visit the doctor, consider allowing no-cost preventive care and screenings. Here are some additional health-con- scious expense-management ideas that busi- nesses may consider implementing: • If you have a company cafeteria, encourage it to discount healthy meal options, such as fruit and other healthy snacks, and provide lower-calorie options in on-site vending machines. • Provide on-site screenings and inves- tigate the use of health risk question- naires to ensure that employees are aware of their own health issues such as high cholesterol. • Offer subsidies for employees partici- pating in smoking cessation and weight loss programs, subject to Health Insur- ance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. • Sponsor "Biggest Loser" contests to reward healthy lifestyles. • Appoint health coaches to help employees better manage chronic diseases such as diabetes. According to PricewaterhouseCoo- pers, as much as $493 billion of health care spending may be attributable to so- called manageable behaviors, including about $200 billion to deal with obesity and weight control and as much as $191 billion to cope with smoking. e benefits of carefully managing costs for both the employer and the employee are clear. A 2011 survey by Towers Watson found strong evidence of a link between highly effective health and productivity programs and better human capital and financial results, including higher workforce productivity and lower rates of work loss. Why is it the employer's concern? Each year, according to GE's internal calcula- tions, employees spend at least 2,000 hours at work, during which they eat about 400 meals or snacks and, if they smoke, con- sume about 50 packs of cigarettes. So, when employers think about helping their work- force to be as healthy as possible, they need to think about more than just discounted gym memberships. ey should consider creating a true culture of health. Additional Resources Implementing the ACA is a complex topic. Business leaders should thoroughly research the law and their options before making any decisions. This article isn't intended to provide legal or tax advice. Additional information is available from the following sources: • Treasury Department Fact Sheet www.treasury.gov/press-center/ press-releases/Documents/Fact%20 Sheet%20021014.pdf • I R S FAQ o n Em p l oye r Sh a re d Responsibility Final Regulations www. irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Questions- and-Answers-on-Employer-Shared- Responsibility-Provisions-Under-the- Affordable-Care-Act Across 1. eir super combo washers and driers can be used both in RVs and apartments 5. Main type of products supplied to the RV industry by Parallax 8. Big coffee holder 10. Tent holders 11. Jacket feature 12. ____belly, the RV's underfloor surface 13. State where Mount St. Helens is 15. Brands 17. Unwanted smell in campground water sometimes 19. "___ questions?" 22. Sure! 23. Place on the ground 25. Wheel puncture while an RV is in motion (2 words) 27. Coast Guard rank: Abbr. 28. Leader in aftermarket RV parts and accessories distribution in North America (goes with 1 down) WIN A FREE WASHER/DRYER VALUED AT $ 1,500 To Enter: email your Name, Address and Phone Number to drawing@pinnaclecombos.com. Employees of Pinnacle and RV PRO Magazine/National Business Media are not eligible for contest. Drawing will be held on April 16, 2014. C e l e b r a t i n g 1 0 0 y e a r s o f C r o s s w o r d P u z z l e s rv-pro.com April 2014 • RV PRo • 69 RVPApr.indd 68 3/20/14 9:18 AM

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