For many businesses, December is the beginning of tax season; not January. This is likely because their fiscal year ends with the last month of the year. Also, December can be a hectic month for businesses because of the holiday season, which means that they must work diligently to balance work schedules with time off.
This coming December will have an added wrinkle with the provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act taking effect. Many small business owners have been able to avoid the taxes and expenses that come with non-compliant health care plans. Essentially, companies that have plans that do not address federal requirements could be subject to hefty “Cadillac plan” fees. To make matters worse, it is not exactly clear what constitutes a non-compliant plan, or how they will be evaluated.
Business owners should also know that there may be wholesale changes on the provider’s side to accommodate federal regulations as well. They will have to deal with the challenge of seeing and caring for more patients for less money. This may mean that they streamline their offerings while charging more for plans that employers previously found to be affordable.
Besides being cost conscious, employers must be careful to ensure that healthcare plans and incentives do not discriminate against employees who may not be able to take advantage of them; such as disabled employees and those who are coming off major surgeries.
As such, consulting with an experienced business law attorney can help in avoiding these problems before they become costly issues.