"Final" Regulations, Finally!
Roll back the clock to 1993 (a long time ago) and travel to Colorado State University (a galaxy not quite that far away) and you’ll see a younger version of me that knows nothing about insurance, but who has a brand spankin’ new bachelor’s degree in Construction Management. You might ask yourself how the heck I ended up being a guy, with that kind of degree, who ended up loving to deal with health insurance compliance issues – let me know if you figure it out! Actually, there’s a great story there but that’s for another day.
Twenty-one years ago, I had no idea I’d end up here. Often, I try to figure out how the education I received has helped shaped my career and what skill sets have actually transferred over. And it’s surprising how the skill sets do match up – mainly when it comes to analyzing a project. In the construction world, it always starts with “Let’s build this…” and a while later, with a lot of hard work, that thing is built. It may or may not match with the original vision, but it is there.
Lately, that’s how I’ve been viewing the Affordable Care Act – specifically, the employer mandate. Now let’s be clear – you may or may not have the same vision of employee benefits as the ACA has (and I know where most of you probably fall there). That’s not the same as having to deal with the requirements. Like it or not, the ACA is here to stay. And at least through 2015, we now know what the rules are. And that’s where the analysis comes into play.
What am I getting at? With February’s release of the “final” regulations (final being a word that has a different meaning in Washington as it does everywhere else in the Universe), we’re now at that stage where we can build the project – or the employee benefit package in this context. The law the President signed back in 2010 had so few details in it as to be more of a concept – it was in the “let’s build this” stage. In the ensuing years, we saw proposed rulemaking (here’s how the building will look when it’s done), proposed regulations (lets submit these blueprints for review), public commentary (here are the changes we suggest), and now, final regulations – here’s what and how we’re going to build this thing.
Are you on board yet? The schedule’s been put in place, the equipment’s all here, the permits are approved, and it’s time to dig. The ribbon cutting ceremony – for most of you – is January 1, 2015, a date for which there’s no slack in the schedule. Need help? We’re here, and we know how to build!
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