October 1 was a very significant date for the implementation of PPACA as the individual exchanges went live. However, there were reports from many states with problems with the rollout and not all exchanges were activated on schedule. Both the online small business markets known as SHOP exchanges and the Spanish language exchange are delayed. Going forward, there are several key provisions that will impact employers.
Guaranteed availability/renewability – requires carriers to accept all groups applying for coverage
Waiting periods – requires waiting periods to be no more than 90 days
Auto enrollment – employers enroll their full-time employees in a health plan
Health care excise taxes – New taxes for health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, plus medical devices
Originally effective 2014, employers with more than 50 Full Time Equivalent employees are now required to offer affordable health insurance
PPACA imposes the Cadillac excise tax on rich benefit plans
Medicare Part D coverage gap is reduced to 25 percent