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Make Your Employees Feel Supported as the Country Wades Into the PPACA Marketplace

Posted on: October 23rd, 2013 | Category: Employee Relations, Government Regulatory & Compliance Issues, Human Resources, Our Blog, Payroll/Benefits

navigating the PPACA marketiplace

Both employers and employees are exploring uncharted territory with the PPACA.

We have been following with keen interest how companies are dealing with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) marketplace in various ways. It’s a tense time for much of the American workforce, and confusion abounds about a lot of what the PPACA will do to the healthcare coverage and fees. But, business must go on, so it’s off to work we go each morning, nonetheless. How do employers support their employees and keep the workplace running optimally during this unusual time?

“It is important to support your employees and to help them get the information they need to make the best decisions about the healthcare choices they are making for themselves and their families,” says Kelly Coblentz, PHR, Director of HR Services for myHR Partner. “Regardless of how you feel about the government or any political party, the people who work for you need to feel that you are there for them, that their company cares about them. It’s a matter of employee satisfaction, productivity and retention.”

The Trader Joe’s Effect. Before the open enrollment period began on October 1st, the grocery store chain Trader Joe’s was in the media spotlight for it’s decision not to provide part time workers with company healthcare benefits, but to instead have them enroll in the PPACA marketplace. The company explained that the law provides low cost options to people who do not make a lot of money that turned out to be a better deal than what they could offer, after the tax break was factored into the equation. Since an individual employee is only able to receive the tax credit from the exchanges if they do not have access to company insurance, Trader Joe’s decided to take part time workers off their health insurance plan.

The company wisely invested time and communication efforts to get the message out that they were making decisions based on the best interest of their employees. Sure, these efforts garnered them a lot of media attention and opened up a national dialog about how the healthcare exchanges will begin to change how we purchase healthcare in this country, but it also did something else. It enabled the company to present itself as a great place to work that cares about the welfare of its team.

What kind of support can you offer?

“Focus on the things you can do, instead of emphasizing what you can’t,” says Coblentz. Some things employers of all sizes can do:

  • Provide understandable information and resources for those who will be entering the PPACA marketplace.
  • Listen to concerns from employees and let them know you have heard them.
  • Explain your benefits and any assistance available clearly in your employee handbook.
  • Share any updates in the law with your employees so that they can make the right choices for themselves.
  • Have a clear explanation for why your company has structured its healthcare plan the way it has, with the assurance that you are operating in the best interests of your employees.

Build Your Best Team and Your Brand Through Your HR Efforts

A high-performing, satisfied workforce does wonders for your brand and bottom line. At myHR Partner, we are people relation’s specialist. With our myHR DirectLink service, we become an integrated partner, performing the process of employee relations and additional HR services, customized exactly for you. We do this in a way that fits your organization’s needs and culture, and gets results. Call 610-443-0119, or email us today to find out more.

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