This is the last of three parts on how Obamacare will affect LBM dealers. Part one covered how the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Obamacare will mean for dealers, while part two covered the various dates and forms dealers will need to know about.
Knowledge is power, so dealers would be wise to learn as much as they can about the Affordable Care Act before devising strategies to address its implications.
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 on the Act itself to determine how unbiased his or her advice is.
- Familiarizing oneself with the Act’s mandates is critical. A good place to start is Kaiser Family Foundation’s website, which provides an excellent 13-page summary of the Act’s complexities (www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/8061.pdf).
- Another source is Law.com, which in July posted an analysis of the Supreme Court decision’s impact on healthcare reform (www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202562047035&slreturn=1).
- 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 undated their estimates for expenditures and offsets, complete with chart breakdowns (www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-13-Coverage%20Estimates.pdf).
- 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 healthcare insurance and controlling costs efficiently within the Obamacare regimen, check out The Employers’ Coalition for Healthcare, Inc. A subsidiary of the McLean County, Ill., Chamber of Commerce, Etchi 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, as well as its potential impact on employers and workers.