Health Care Coverage for Education Facilities

The changes occurring as part of the health care reform are affecting every industry including education facilities. As part of the health care reform, there will be several changes made to the types of coverage offered by each company. As a consequence many companies will be required to offer health care insurance to those they had previously not been required to cover. Moreover, there will also be changes to the types of plans companies are able to offer. For example, companies will no longer be able to offer plans with annual dollar limits and as a result, many mini medi-plans will be phased out. Employees can no longer be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and all health care coverage plans must cover certain basic and essential health benefits, including many forms of preventative treatments.

As a result, not only will companies face an increase in costs, but they will also be required to find new ways to effectively administrate and manage their health care coverage. This is particularly important to ensure that coverage offered is compliant with new state and federal regulations, including ensuring companies remain cognizant of new updates and regulations as they occur. HR departments are therefore choosing to utilize many software solutions to streamline their HR process, including the use of cloud computing or SaaS.

One option is to provide employee self-service, in which HR departments have control over the information recorded but in which staff can access their personal data and also enroll themselves in benefit plans. This can greatly reduce the time HR staff spends in administrative tasks, including answering staff queries. Employee self-service also increases staff motivation to take ownership of their benefit choices. It allows integration between the company benefits applications and external sites offered by benefit providers. When applying analytic tools to this process, it allows departments to identify which types of coverage are more popular with staff, identify the needs of the workforce and how the types of coverage can be adapted to meet staff needs. In addition to benefit administration, software solutions also help to manage COBRA administration, FSA administration and provide compensation statements.

Changes to health care, such as the implementation of health care state exchanges, means many companies are choosing to use HR consulting firms to help advise them on new benefit plans and how to choose and administrate these plans. Health care changes will vary depending in the size of the company, with larger companies such as those employing 50 or more workers, being more greatly impacted. HR departments and managers are beginning to engage in strategic decision making to determine if they can continue to provide coverage and the options available to them. They are also deciding how to reduce costs in other areas of the company so they may continue to provide health care coverage to their staff.

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