Michael Sarafolean's workers help provide care for people with developmental disabilities. Over the last few years, taking care of his staff's health insurance needs has been a challenge because of rising premiums. Now, Obamacare is making him re-evaluate his benefits plan.
"Right now we offer a defined contribution model for our employees, where we contribute a set amount of money for employees to use to purchase individual policies," the CEO of Orion Corporation of Minnesota said.
With a staff of more than 125 full-time health aides, Sarafolean will now be required to offer insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act or pay a fine. While he's been committed to helping his employees with their benefits and believes health insurance is important for recruitment and retention, his current stand-alone Health Reimbursement Arrangement does not comply with the new regulations because HRAs must now be part of a group insurance plan.
A hybrid approach
For 2014, he's taking advantage of the one-year delay in the employer mandate to experiment with a hybrid approach to health coverage, by providing premium assistance on private insurance and for those who enroll on the Minnesota's state health exchange.
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"This year we'll be able to offer that—to look at both: the option that we're able to provide as well as whether or not they may be better off looking at the exchange plan," Sarafolean said.