Now that the Supreme Court has weighed in with their interpretation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) most employers are left scrambling for answers. While thousands of articles, summaries, analysis, and opinions have been written about this legislation, most people are still left with more questions than answers. It is clear that most “experts” are more intent on shaping the reader’s opinion about the massive healthcare bill than they are in analyzing and explaining the real world impact of the new law. Maybe it is finally time to look for some real, practical analysis of PPACA.
The “middle of the road” (aka the loneliest place in the country)
It’s a simple game
Just like the frustrated manager in Bull Durham who explains to his players, “Baseball is a simple game. You throw the ball, you hit the ball and you catch the ball,” an employee medical plan is also a simple game. An employer really has only three variables he can control: plan eligibility, plan benefits and plan contributions. PPACA regulates these three components, but provides some flexibility for employers to customize their plan. While the narrowing of plan options may sound like a bad idea to some employers, most will find that their plan is already playing by these new rules. In fact, most experts estimate that about 80 percent of employee health plans are already compliant with all key requirements of PPACA.