Health Care Reform Planning Checklist

Article excerpt

* Watch the congressional debate to determine whether participation in health care purchasing groups will be required for some employers based on the size of their work forces. Assess the pros and cons of joining the purchasing groups or self-insuring.

* Assess the impact of creating a new benefits package. Compare the cost of your client's or employer's current benefits package with that of the proposed plans. Assess the potential impact of premiums calculated using a community-rating approach. Examine your client's or employer's benefits policies and project any new liability for spouses or dependents.

* Determine the effect of a possible revision of the rules for classifying workers as either employees or independent contractors. Consider whether it makes economic sense to change the work status of some employees (possibly by increasing the percentage of full-time workers compared with part-time workers).

* Examine your client's or employer's human resource and tax department needs. Determine changes in staffing and administrative procedures needed to satisfy new data reporting requirements. Consider the need for and cost of general employee communications, education and implementation.

* Analyze the potential loss of section 125 plans. How would losing the ability to fund medical costs with pretax dollars under cafeteria plans or flexible spending accounts affect other benefits? Could your client or employer continue to offer other pretax benefits, such as dependent care? …