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The ACA is Here…Six Key Actions to Take Now!


Many business owners have gone into hibernation with respect to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Their hope – one day, we will all wake up from our long nap to find that it’s been completely repealed!  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  There will be challenges to many provisions and there may be changes as the various elements are implemented.  However, it cannot be ignored by businesses, big or small, any longer as ACA provisions are being implemented every few months.

Here are some key actions for you to take NOW:

  1. Assess Your Benefits Consultant – The technicalities of the law are overwhelming.  Is your benefits broker or advisor keeping you updated on requirements?  Are your medical plans changing?  What does it mean financially for you?
  2. Examine Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – In other words, why does talent come to work for your organization?  Do you draw talent because of your culture, work environment, high compensation, flexible hours, employee benefits, job security/stability, investment in employee development, other factors, or a combination of several of these?  This should be examined, or reexamined, as employee benefits become a larger financial and administrative commitment.
  3. Review Your Staffing Strategy – In light of the ACA requirements, how do you staff various roles in your organization?  What should you do to remain competitive as you consider full-time, part-time, and contingent staffing models?  Should you consider more outsourcing?  How does the ACA impact your paid overtime staffing models?
  4. Mitigate Your Risks for Penalties – While some organizations will make decisions to pay various penalties for not offering affordable and qualifying health insurance, others may be caught off-guard.  Understanding those risks and designing your strategy now will prevent surprises later.
  5. Seek Industry Updates Regularly – What are your competitors doing?  Does the ACA impact the cost of products and services significantly?  Can you pass along these cost increases to customers?
  6. Payroll and HR Systems – Calculating average hours worked across designated time periods, reporting headcount, understanding costs and related tax implications, considering staffing models…there are plenty of complexities with required ACA reporting.  Are your systems and partners keeping up with the requirements?

Take these actions now as waiting until next year will be too late in many cases.  Getting the right people on your team to focus on these key items will certainly pay off and prevent surprises.

This post was submitted by Steve Freeman with Principle HR.  Principle HR specializes in helping with workforce strategies, employee engagement, productivity, total rewards, and employment compliance.  Contact Steve at