Health Care Coverage for Fitness Centers?
As part of the Affordable Care Act, health care coverage is being made more accessible to workers. This is leading to changes within many industries including Fitness Centers. As a result, companies are finding themselves in a period of disruption, calling on HR departments to engage in an important analysis of the current coverage offered by the company. HR departments are also being asked to find ways to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations in the future. As part of these changes under the health care reform, companies which employ 50 or more employees will be required to provide coverage or face a penalty. The cost of coverage will be assessed based on the employee’s income, with a federal poverty limit being applied to determine the premium amount employees should pay. Coverage will be required to cover minimum and essential procedures. Both smaller companies and individuals will have access to new exchanges, a marketplace providing access to coverage between states. For employees who are unable to afford health coverage offered by their employee and whose income meets criteria of the federal poverty line, they may be eligible to access to tax credits, enabling them to purchase individual insurance through exchange based coverage.
Noncompliance with these regulations may lead to penalties for some companies. For example, if a company is required to provide health care coverage and does not, they may be required to pay $2000 per year, per full time employee. Similar penalties may apply for companies who do offer health coverage but whose premiums are too expensive.
Health care coverage is determined to be an important incentive for a company’s current workforce and a way to attract new workers. HR departments may have a particular responsibility to find ways to continue to provide coverage which is cost effective to the company. In order to achieve this, HR departments may need to outsource many administrative tasks such as payroll or benefits, including using new cloud computing integrated software, to allow them greater time to spend in strategic decision making. Moreover, they are required to ensure that the workforce data is effectively managed and is of quality, to allow for analytic procedures to be applied to data. This allows companies to gain an accurate overview of their current status, the currents costs associated with providing coverage and if these may increase under the healthcare reform. The HR department will therefore play an integral role in the company’s decision making and the transition into the new health care coverage policies. Many companies are also choosing to utilize HR consulting companies to help advise them on ways to improve the administration of their benefits, such as choosing appropriate applications and software. This can help companies to ensure that they remain compliant as they move forward into a new era of healthcare.