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How are Colorado employers affected by health care reform?

Since the United States Supreme Court upheld the health care reform legislation signed by President Obama, many Denver employers might be wondering just what exactly does this ruling mean to their business. First and foremost, many of the issues affecting employers will not go into effect until 2014, so employers have anywhere from 18 to 24 months to get prepared.

Employers will need to decide if they want to "pay or play," meaning whether or not they want to offer their employees health care insurance coverage or pay a fine. Other aspects of the health care laws may impact already existing health plans as well as costs associated with those plans, according to a Denver employment law attorney. There are compliance issues that will need to be addressed immediately along with long-term strategy decisions to be made.

Employment law attorneys will indeed play a role in assisting small and large employers to comply with the law. Since the health care reform package was under scrutiny and in limbo almost from its inception, many companies as well as their in-house attorneys may not be well-versed in the intricacies of the new law. There are opportunities as well as pitfalls for various businesses in the law, including small-business tax incentives to expand health care coverage for employees.

Health care providers, hospitals and physicians made a number of concessions on reimbursements as the law made its way through Congress. These concessions could improve costs by allowing health care providers to bundle services and billing efforts. One disadvantage to this collaboration within the professional medical industry however, is it could put the squeeze on competition in the marketplace, and at the same time encourage price fixing, which could complicate health care legal matters even further.

Source: Law Weekly Colorado, "Health-care Law Ruling Just The Beginning For Attorneys," David Forster, June 28, 2012

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