After much negotiation and the threat of a government shutdown the budget was passed last week. This is good news for employers as members of Congress agreed to have the Voucher Provision taken out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in an effort to reduce the budget. This provision was originally instituted last spring as part of health care reform. Although it won’t affect the budget until 2014, this repeal removes the large burden that would otherwise have been felt by employers.
Under the provision, an employer offering health coverage for employees would have been required to provide free choice vouchers to each employee meeting two criterion. First, the employee’s premium contribution must be between 8.0% and 9.8% of the employee’s household income, assuming such employee’s household income is less than 400% of FPL; and second the employee is enrolled in the Exchange.The voucher amount would have been equal to the amount the employer would have paid toward such employee’s coverage (individual vs. family based on the coverage the employee elects through the Exchange) with respect to the plan to which the employer pays the largest portion of the cost. The value of vouchers would have been adjusted for age, and the vouchers would have been used in the exchanges to purchase coverage that would otherwise have been unsubsidized. In addition, if the employee had opted for a plan through the Exchange that had cost less than the value of the voucher, the employee would have kept the difference.
Employers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing this provision is repealed. Essentially the employer would have potentially been giving the employee an unearned raise without recourse in cases where the Exchange plan was cheaper than that of the employer. For retailers and other employers with large numbers of low-earning workers, the cost to the employers would have been quite significant.
Feedback From Our Happy Customers
The Innovative team is well respected at AFS. My staff and I feel they are an extension of our HR team! Since implementation, they have always remained committed to assisting AFS with all of its healthcare needs; in fact, it doesn’t matter what time of day, they always respond in a timely manner.
Each year they come up with fresh material so our employee’s interest is always peaked. A few years ago, Innovative provided us with documentation to show that moving from a fully insured program to self-insured would be more cost effective for AFS, and it has been! Innovative has truly made our jobs easier so we can focus on other tasks.
As an HR professional, Innovative makes my job easier and benefits administration much less overwhelming than it would otherwise be.
They are truly a partner with me to make sure our team members have the best benefits and service around their benefits that we can offer. Innovative’s team is responsive, professional and resourceful. (They are at the forefront of knowledge in many areas, including ACA reporting and compliance, which can get highly complicated.)
As a client for the last 4 years, we love working with our Innovative Benefit Planning team because of their service model, scope , depth and quality of expertise in handling our benefits and renewals.
Their level of commitment just keeps getting better each year. They have more than met our expectations on renewal negotiations, response time, assistance with ongoing plans, open enrollment material, meetings, support, bill auditing, and wellness programs.
Since our partnership with Innovative Benefit Planning in 2017, it has been a seamless one. Innovative always provide options, suggestions and recommendations when it comes to our benefits renewal.
Innovative is always present even when open enrollment ends, their year round communication reminds me that I can always reach out for help at any time. Their professionalism is the utmost one can expect. My account representative Jenni is wonderful, courteous, knowledgeable and very helpful.
We have been dealing with Innovative Benefit Planning for many, many years. They have given us nothing but exceptional service.
We can pick up the phone or email them and they always resolve our questions and take care of our employees insurance issues in a very timely manner. They negotiate our insurance rates every year and have managed to reduce the increase every year. Every account manager we’ve had throughout the years have been great to work with.
I have been working with Innovative Benefit Planning for over six years. Previous to Innovative, I had used the same broker for about 25 years. I was used to doing everything myself during open enrollment with my previous broker.
When Innovative came on board, I was pleasantly surprised how “on top” of things they were. I never have to call them and bother them about getting rates to me for open enrollment, as they are in touch with our carriers on a regular basis, and they get me my information for open enrollment as soon as they receive it from the carriers.