When will I have to make a decision about the health plan I offer my employees?
What about my part-time employees?
These were just a few of the questions I got from the Chinese-American small business owners last week when I presented a general overview of Health Care Reform. The presentation was sponsored by the New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce (NJCACC) at DCH Auto Group in South Amboy. My colleague, Chris Law, vice president of UnitedHealthcare’s Asian initiative and NJCACC board member, coordinated the event.
On January 1, 2014 many of the provisions of Health Care Reform take effect and small business owners across the country, and across every ethnic group, are attending workshops and seminars in an effort to get a clear picture of what they need to do to prepare their company for health reform changes.
During my conversation with the business owners we covered essential health benefits, out-of-pocket maximums, small group deductible ceiling and the metallic coverage levels. And we didn’t stop there. We also discussed community rating, pricing impacts, the employer mandate and the Exchanges. Finally and most importantly, we talked about what small business owners should be doing between now and 2014 to prepare for the changes that will take place.
It was an interactive, two hour dialogue that could have easily lasted two more hours. We will do a follow-up session in the fall to cover more ground. In the interim, I encouraged all of the business owners, as well as the employees in the audience, to do their homework. For starters, I suggested they access information on health reform topics by going to the United for Reform Resource Center located at uhc.com/reform. This site includes overviews on the various provisions, FAQs and collateral pieces as well as videos small business owners can use and download if they want to use their own portal or share with employees. The site also has a News section to help keep visitors informed on key and current reform activities.
A big thank you to NJCACC and Chris Law for organizing the event and to DCH Auto Group for hosting. Although 2014 may seem like a long way away, if you are a small business owner preparing your company for health reform changes, 2014 is alarmingly near.
|I was honored to take a photo with my colleage, Chris Law and the New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce business leaders at the end of the presentation.|