Will your premiums go down? Yes, if you are  hit by huge price increases from an uncompetitive marketplace or one employee’s serious illness.

Will it be easier to shop for policies? Yes, once the state exchanges are up and running. Will the quality of the policies be higher in terms of coverage? Yes.

Will you be protected from those price hikes that so often occur when one employee in a small group gets seriously ill? Yes.

What should you do now? Put together a game plan that tackles the provisions of the law that kick in this year and next. Lay the groundwork for those provisions slated to take place over the next five years. However, the legislation’s finer points may get tweaked a lot. Watch for regulations interpreting the law from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (http://www.hhs.gov).

Help online

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s website at http://www.healthreform.gov. See especially the link to a YouTube video: “Health Reform and Small Business.”
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation, http://healthreform.kff.org. See especially the document titled “Summary of New Health Reform Law.”
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) has posted information on how healthcare reform will affect small businesses. Go to http://www.sba.gov and click on “Health Care Reform.”
  • Mercer, the New York based consulting firm: http://www.mercer.com