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Health care reform: California weighs in on essential health benefits

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

by Timothy G. Verrall, Esq., Ogletree Deakins

States will play an important role in implementing the provisions of the Afford­­able Care Act (ACA), and state regulations will likely have a particularly significant effect on employers in the small-group market. For California employers with between 50 and 100 employees, recent legislative developments may add some complexity to ongoing discussions about the ACA’s “shared responsibility” or “play-or-pay” requirements.

What’s essential

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the ACA requires nongrandfathered group health plans in the small group market to offer a menu of “essential health benefits” to their enrollees. (Neither grandfathered group health plans maintained by large or small employers—those not fully subject to the ACA’s requirements, at least not yet—nor self-funded group health plans are subject to this requirement.)

The ACA outlines 10 essential health benefits that must be off...(register to read more)

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