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What is the employer's role in educating workers on ACA requirements?

Health Care Reform and Policy
by Tom Handley
What is the employer's role in educating workers on ACA requirements?
What is the employer's role in educating workers on ACA requirements?

The Affordable Care Act's health insurance coverage mandate will likely be a major issue facing the majority of large businesses this year, but experts say that workers could likewise have significant issues they want addressed. New data shows that those workers want their companies to help them better understand their obligations.

Three-quarters of workers polled said that they think their employers should do more to educate them about the potential changes to their current health insurance coverage as a result of the ACA, according to the latest WorkForces Report from Aflac. However, just 13 percent of employers said they thought that doing so would be an important issue going forward.

More problematic for workers and companies alike, may be how little the majority of workers say they've done to prepare for any changes that might come, the report said. In all, 55 percent they've done nothing at all to prepare for potential coverage changes.

Interestingly, the companies that are doing a better job of attracting talent are - perhaps unsurprisingly - also doing a better job of making progress with regard to the ACA's mandates, the report said. For instance, 20 percent said they think it's important to educate employees about the potential changes, and almost one-third are either adding or strengthening programs to encourage healthy behaviors, up from more than one-quarter of all polled.

As a result of this incongruity between workers' expectations and companies' plans - as well as the greater success companies that do so have in attracting better applicants - it may be wise for those with the decision-making power to begin these education efforts. These efforts could lead to increased engagement for employees and, in turn, better feeling about their situations as they relate to the ACA going forward.

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