Health care reform presents unique challenges and opportunities for employers.
In particular, an individual coverage mandate, the opening of Insurance Exchanges and the availability of federal premium subsidies for low-income workers in 2014 require employers to decide whether to play (sponsor a health benefit plan that meets specific minimum requirements) or pay (forgo plan sponsorship, pay a penalty and require employees to secure coverage for themselves through the Exchanges).
But the decision is more complex than simply play versus pay. There is a spectrum of approaches to help employers reshape their health benefits programs, optimize their own costs in 2014 and beyond, and direct employees to advantageous coverage options. Employers need to select the approach that aligns with their total rewards philosophy and strategy, and provides optimal value in terms of both cost and talent.