On Thursday, we will be witnessing one of the most important rulings in the history of benefit plans. And no matter which way the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, there will be major implications to the health care industry — and a great deal of work for HR staffs around the country.
As the justices scurry out of town, you’ll be told to either:
- Hightail it into gear to comply with the Act, or
- Find time and energy in an already exhaustive schedule to figure out which rules (if any) need reversing that you hurriedly put into place last year.
So where do you start?
First and foremost — talk to your employees. They will see and hear the news reports and most definitely start asking questions. “Do I have to remove my adult child from my insurance?” “Are you still going to cover my routine physical next week?” And so on.
The best thing you can do right now…while waiting with bated breath…is prepare a statement or various statements for all possible outcomes. You don’t have to know all the answers or any answers — just be honest.
If you aren’t sure how the ruling affects your company’s benefits, tell employees that. But reassure them that you are doing the necessary research to make decisions. If you know how the ruling will affect your benefits, but need time to prepare a proper communication, tell employees that, too.
The important thing to do after Thursday is acknowledge to employees that you know they have questions and that you are on top of getting them answers.