Making Sense of Health Care Reform for Business

Just hearing the words “health care reform” can send many a business – and layperson – headed for the hills with its massive web of confusing mandates, but the fact remains that it’s something businesses must understand – and quickly – to be in compliance with the law in 2011.
Charleston-based David M. Gilston Insurance Agency, a company that supports insurance brokers and agents across South Carolina, is helping businesses sort through the missives to figure out their legal requirements and how the new law affects both their employees and their bottom line.
Here are five items for businesses to consider to ensure they’re meeting health care reform mandates:Have you provided your Medicare-eligible members a written notice indicating whether their drug benefits under the group health plan are “creditable”? This means that the coverage is expected to pay on average as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage. This notice needs to go out by Nov. 15 of each year.Have you provided your employees with a written notice of their rights under the Children Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA)?If your plan is grandfathered, have you let your employees know in written form? This affects plans in place prior to March 23, 2010.Did you know there is now additional information required on employees’ W‐2 forms, including listing the cost of their health insurance? While it is optional for employers in 2011, it will be mandatory in 2012.Are you eligible for the new small group tax credit for the 2010 tax year? If so, do you know if it’s more cost effective for your business to use insurance as a tax deduction rather than taking the credit?
For more information regarding health care reform and how the changes affect your business, visit the David Gilston Insurance Agency’s Health Insurance Reform Blog at

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