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Health Care Reform

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With the stroke of a pen following nearly a year-long debate, President Barack Obama signed into law sweeping health care reform legislation on March 23.  The measure, previously known as H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has now been officially designated Public Law 111-148.  

To complete the package of health care reforms, Congress also approved some additional changes or “fixes” to the new law.  These changes, which were included in a separate piece of legislation called the Budget Reconciliation Act of 2010, were part of the agreement negotiated between the House and Senate to approve the overall health care reform package.   

The new health care law includes many provisions that will impact both employers and employees.  For example, employers who offer “unaffordable” coverage or no coverage at all and have employees who receive federal subsidies to purchase coverage through an exchange will incur tax penalties.  Employee contributions to a health flexible spending account will also be capped at $2,500 under the new law. 

To view a side-by-side chart of certain HR-focused provisions of the new law and the “fixes” in the Budget Reconciliation bill, click HERE.

SHRM is committed to helping you understand this new law and how it will impact you, your employer, and your fellow employees.  A number of resources currently are available to help you navigate this complex issue — and more will be announced soon.  Below is a sample of what health care-related information is, or will be, available on the SHRM website:

  • SHRM's Health Care Reform Resource Page is the go-to place for all the latest offerings in the health care reform realm.

  • Click HERE to listen to a free pre-recorded overview of the final health care reform package by Mike Aitken and Lisa Horn of SHRM’s Government Affairs department.

  • Click HERE to sign-up for an in-depth webcast titled “Health Care Reform: Leading Your Organization’s Response” on April 7.  This special SHRM session will be conducted by Frank McArdle, Principal and Manager, Hewitt Associates.




 Next Issue

The next issue of HR Issues Update will be published on Friday, April 9, 2010.
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