Obamacare Update: Uncertainty Hampers Business Preparedness - Modern Distribution Management

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Obamacare Update: Uncertainty Hampers Business Preparedness

Survey: Political environment, changing provisions contribute to uncertainty about impacts of the Affordable Care Act.

In the latest MDM-Baird Distribution Survey, respondents were asked if they were prepared for the provisions affecting their businesses in the Affordable Care Act. While more than half of respondents (58 percent) said they were prepared, a large percentage is still unsure (25 percent) or say they aren't prepared (17 percent). The biggest reason: uncertainty.

"The political environment tells us being clear on being prepared may not be possible," one respondent said.

The survey was conducted just before the government shutdown, as the latest debate over defunding Obamacare, as the law is also known, remained heated and front of mind for many in the general public. Specific provisions and the implementation date of other provisions were also targeted in the debates.

And while those attempts ultimately failed, opponents have said they would continue to fight the policy from going into full effect as it currently stands – which means continued uncertainty about what will happen in the near future.

"(There's) too much missing information and too many changes to the current act," said one respondent. "Delays continue to happen, so you never really know when something will truly happen."

With all the changes and proposals for change, it may even be difficult for the experts to keep up. "My medical insurance providers are not sure, and they are supposed to be the experts for me," another respondent said.

Even though they may be challenged to keep up, as well, those experts – particularly those you already have a relationship with – are likely your best bet for ensuring compliance, according to Lars Parkin, former president of Colorado’s Front Range Association of Health Underwriters. It's their job to be informed enough to keep you informed, he says, so make sure you're communicating your concerns to them. Parkin spoke with me back in 2011 for MDM's Executive Briefing.

For many, that approach appears to be working. Many of the respondents who said they are prepared attributed that preparation to their benefits providers and human resources departments working together.

Get the full results from the Third-Quarter MDM-Baird Distribution Survey in the Oct. 25 issue of MDM Premium.

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