The best source for the latest information is still insurers, which are positioning themselves to be major players as the Act unfolds. Agents and brokers can be helpful local resources for guiding companies and employees trying to figure out what their next move is. But find out where any resource stands with regard to the Act to determine how unbiased its advice is.

Knowing the Act’s mandates is critical. A good place to start is the Kaiser Family Foundation’s website, which provides an excellent 13-page summary of the Act’s complexities . Another source is, which in July posted an analysis of the Supreme Court decision’s impact on health care reform .

To understand how the federal government intends to pay for this $1 trillion-plus program, the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee For Taxation in March updated their estimates for expenditures and offsets, complete with chart breakdowns.

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association is keeping tabs on the Act’s progress, and will eventually produce guidance for its members. Dealers should also consult with their local associations, which are likely to have better market-specific information.

For ideas about buying health care insurance and controlling costs efficiently under the new rules, check out The Employers’ Coalition for Health care, Inc.. A subsidiary of the McLean County, Ill., Chamber of Commerce, the coalition was formed in 1994 and currently has nearly 200 participating members.

The Society for Human Resource Management , has been covering the Act from its outset, including its potential impact on employers and workers.

— John Caulfield