Health Care Coverage for the Hospitality Business
The healthcare reform is impacting many industries, however, it is envisaged that the hospitality, tourism and travel industries will be more greatly impacted. From 2014, new health care regulations could mean that employers may be required to provide health care coverage for employees who were not previously eligible. As a result, many businesses may face some financial implications. For example, the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires businesses to provide health coverage if they employ 50 employees or more, working 30 hours or more each week. When determining this figure, employers must take into consideration a combination of both full and part time workers. Moreover, this calculation also includes employees in sister companies owned by the same company.
As part of these changes to health care coverage, the types of plans currently offered by companies may also be affected. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), premiums must not exceed 9.5% of an employee’s household income. Additionally, coverage must also cover preexisting conditions, cover employee’s children up to the age of 26 years old and must not impose annual dollar benefit limits. Plans which impose annual dollar benefit limits will be one of the first plans types to be phased out as part of the affordable care act
This means that health care coverage for the hospitality business may change in a variety of ways, with some existing plans currently used by businesses no longer meeting the health care reform insurance plan standards in 2014. The cost for employers to increase the annual limits of their plans and to make the necessary changes to comply with these rules, means that some employers cannot meet these costs and may cease to provide coverage for their employers all together.
To address this, many companies are finding ways to reduce overheads and spending in other areas. One method is to reduce costs associated with certain administrative tasks, such as utilizing software and outsourcing of HR related tasks. In addition to being cost effective, these options also help to streamline the processes. Software solutions can be used to administrate multiple tasks from the recruitment process, payroll, and benefits, to employee management, task administration and performance management. Another option is the use of cloud computing, which uses a remote server to store software, applications and data. Business information can be more easily accessed via the internet by staff and employers regardless of their location. This is particularly beneficial for businesses with offices over multiple locations or home based employees. These methods also reduce costs associated with IT management such as IT staff, equipment purchase, installation and maintenance, whilst allowing businesses to stay up to date with the fast pace of changing technology. These methods also allow HR staff to concentrate on other tasks, such as strategic planning, analyzing company data, and finding ways to improve processes, such as recruitment to attract high quality staff.