Businesses lagging in preparation for new health care laws

BY KEN TYSIAC

Many U.S. employers are lacking in preparation for—and awareness of—new health care laws, according to a survey.

More than one-third (36%) of more than 800 corporate decision-makers said they are not very familiar with the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, according to a survey sponsored by global insurance giant Travelers.

Almost one-third (31%) of respondents said they are only somewhat familiar with the law’s requirements. And 25% said they have not yet begun preparing for compliance with the new regulations.

“Advance planning is really what you need to do,” Brian Marks, executive director at Virginia-based employee benefits consultancy Digital Benefit Advisors, said during a recent AICPA webcast on health care. “… You don’t want to wait until you’re right at a month ahead of your renewal to be making decisions about structural changes to your plans.”

Business leaders who understand the new health care regulations are more likely to perceive business risks associated with the PPACA, the survey showed. The 33% of respondents who said they are extremely familiar with the PPACA were three times as likely to be concerned about potential lawsuits related to health care.

Forty-seven percent of employers said they are not very familiar with the whistleblower protections provided to employees who report violations of the PPACA.

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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