Healthcare Reform – A “Dark & Stormy” Cocktail

Healthcare Reform – A “Dark & Stormy” Cocktail

A self-made entrepreneur, CEO, construction manager and manufacturing president all walk into a bar…stop me if you have heard this one….and each of them is served a “dark and stormy”. Now for those of you who might not be a beer cicerone (and yes that certification exists, but that’s another blog), a dark and stormy cocktail is equal parts dark liquor and ginger beer served in a highball glass. The richness of the dark liquor when mixed with the spicy ginger beer creates the appearance of a dark cloud; hence the name.

Much like ginger is used to flavor foods and stimulate the taste buds, traditionally speaking, employee benefits served as an enhancement to a company’s total rewards package. The shape and design and even the offering itself….who is eligible to receive benefits… was left to a business owner’s devices. And then came the storm, healthcare reform, creating a dark cloud over many companies’ health & welfare offerings. Affordability, accessibility, measurement, tracking, penalties …its enough to make your head spin. Combine these ingredients and you have the business owner’s version of the ever popular Bermudian cocktail. Only this concoction doesn’t go down quite so smoothly. And in fact has many business owners reaching for the ibuprofen to cure their now 4-year hangover.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created a new era for healthcare in the U.S. Many solutions that helped businesses manage their health plan are gone, some new ones are here, and others are still a work in progress. Meanwhile, many employers’ tabs continue to increase. I’d love to tell you that my opening statement is fictitious, and I don’t really know any CEOs, presidents, tradesmen or entrepreneurs chugging these regulatory requirements. But it’s not. In fact I spend a great deal of time in the Triad talking to business leaders (in boardrooms, not bars) representing a cross section of the Triad’s tax base, and they all cite similar concerns and challenges. “How do I budget for future healthcare costs? How do I ensure that my total rewards package includes a benefit strategy that is both affordable and sustainable? What is the real impact of the regulatory requirements on my business?”

When you add the tab, how does the cost impact your bottom line?

I hope you will click below and join me on June 4th with a panel of Triad healthcare experts and business leaders forecast changes in the healthcare system and the impact on Triad businesses.

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