MAY 2015

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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88 DAYSPA | MAY 2015 MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP Good News, Bad News and the ACA What do employers need to know about the Affordable Care Act? That what they don't know can hurt them. By Michael L. Antoline, J.D. A doctor tells his patient that he has some good news and some bad news. "Give me the good news fi rst," says the patient. The doctor tells him, "You have 24 hours to live." Stricken, the patient cries, "My God, if that's the good news, what's the bad?" Replies the doctor: "I forgot to call you yesterday." The deadline for business owners to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or "Obamacare", as it has come to be called, is fast approaching. And, much like the doctor in that old joke, I have some good news and some bad news. You may have heard about em- ployer mandates and hefty fi nes of as much as $2,000 for employers who fail to comply. For many business owners, this reality has sparked a bit of panic: "Can this be correct? How do I fi nd out if it applies to me? Where do I go for answers?" My fi rst piece of news is good: we have many an- swers for you right here. Now for some bad news: a lot can still change. As a small business owner myself, I know that the worst possible climate in which to operate is one of uncer- tainty, but that's where we are. Remember, before gaining control over both Houses of Congress in the midterm elections, Republicans voted some 54 times to defund or repeal certain parts of the Affordable Care Act, and voted six times for an outright repeal of the law. What will happen now? Although a full repeal of Obamacare is thought to be unlikely by most observers, some believe that a piecemeal elimination is possible. But which parts of the ACA are at risk, and can they affect your business? EMPLOYER MANDATE There are fi ve aspects of the Affordable Care Act that most experts believe could be eliminated, modifi ed or delayed, but the one that's most important to spa owners is the employer mandate. In a nutshell, the mandate states that certain employers must offer af- fordable health insurance to their full-time employees. You might be thinking, "Well, right now it's uncertain whether the employer mandate will survive at all, so why should I waste any of my time worrying about it?" The best reason concerns the heavy pen- alty you could receive if the mandate does survive and © GETTY IMAGES

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