Jeffrey Moxley began his presentation on health care compliance by pointing to statistics showing that health care was the No. 1 concern for CFOs and employers going into 2015. However, 55 percent of employers have not even calculated the additional costs they will face next year. Moxley’s message: “Start now.”
Moxley is an employee benefits advisor with Roofing Risk Advisors LLC, a division of Frank H. Furman Inc. He provides consulting services on matters including employee health care programs and human resources, and he was on hand at Best of Success to share his insights on how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) would affect the roofing industry.
“It’s one of the hottest topics right now,” Moxley said. “Look at those two words — ‘health’ and ‘care.’ Separately, those words bring hope to people, but when you put those two words together, it scares everybody.”
Moxley gave an overview of the health care legislation and its effect on employers in the roofing industry. Companies with fewer than 50 full-time employees are exempt from the requirements, he noted, but cautioned employers to calculate the number of “full-time equivalent” employees as defined under the law. Those with 50 or more full-time employees will be subject to several requirements and possible penalties for non-compliance in 2015. Employers that do not offer coverage to substantially all full-time employees might be subject to a monthly penalty, noted Moxley. “With those penalties, they are setting your budget for you,” he said. “Calculate those costs with your CFOs and human resources because those costs will be highly impactful to your bottom line.”
The legislation poses unique difficulties in the roofing industry, which is often impacted by the weather and the seasonal nature of the work. “The demographics in the roofing industry will hurt the most in participation,” Moxley said. “If you offer an affordable plan that meets the minimums, and they refuse it, there is no penalty. However, insurance companies look for 50 percent participation or they will raise rates. Think about the mentality of your field employees and how many will be interested in paying 10 percent for a health care program.”
The key to encouraging participation is educating employees and getting them to buy into a healthier organization, noted Moxley. He urged employers to survey their workforce to gauge their willingness to participate in a health care program.
“You’ve got a choice to make,” Moxley said. “Pay the penalty or offer benefits. Offering benefits might cost less money and provide a superior atmosphere for your employees.”
Moxley urged employers to consult with professionals to make sure they are in compliance with health care legislation and crunch the numbers to determine the best course of action for their companies. He also recommended that they explore self-funded options, which might offer lower rates. “You need to start now,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of delays on this legislation, but we’re not expecting another delay on the employer mandate.”