Health Care Reform Could Impact Hiring in Kentucky

May 9, 2013

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Kentucky businesses, both large and small, are running out of time to prepare for new federal health care regulations.

In just over 7 months, the so-called ‘pay or play’ provision kicks in.  Starting next year, employers with more than 50 workers are required to provide health insurance coverage or risk penalties.

Kentucky health care lawyer Vickie Yates Brown said such a policy may not result in immediate employee reductions, but she says it could impact future hiring.

“Making prospective decisions about hiring people I think it’s very likely it will have a big effect that they’re only going to be looking possibly or they will be looking possibly when they can at hiring part time folks rather than full time,” said Yates Brown.

Yates Brown said Kentucky businesses with just a few workers shy of the 50 employee standard should anticipate a close look by the federal government.  The health care attorney said a large percentage of Kentucky firms aren’t fully aware of their responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act.

“This is coming up on us and coming up on us quickly," said Yates Brown. "You need to right now begin to evaluate what the impact of this statute is going to have on your company.  Are you a small employer or large employer?  You need to evaluate that.  You need to quantify that.  You need to figure out, ‘what’s it going to cost me?'”

Under the Affordable Care Act, dependents of covered employees are scheduled to receive coverage in 2015.  New benefit packages and new rating factors to set insurance premiums are also part of the federal law.