Adam Solander Quoted in Article, “The Healthcare Conundrum”

Grocery Headquarters

Adam Solander, an Associate in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office, was quoted in an article titled "The Healthcare Conundrum."

Following is an excerpt:

The pending introduction of Obamacare raises plenty of questions for the supermarket industry.

January 1, 2014.

To some, the beginning of a promising new year. To others, a day that will significantly and forever change the dynamics of grocery retailing. ?...

A significant development in this area is a minimum value calculator from the IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Retailers can input certain information about their plan to immediately determine if it provides minimum value, which is defined as a plan paying at least 60% of the total cost of allowed benefits under the plan.

"Even if you're a retailer with 50 or more full-time employees and offer coverage, you can be subject to a penalty if the coverage is not considered affordable," says Adam Solander.  "HHS has released a calculator that enables you to plug in details of your plan to see if you meet the test. I think it provides a level of certainty that small- and medium-sized businesses may not have had before. It's a very positive thing and will help companies in making their plans." ?...

Meanwhile, many more companies are developing and implementing wellness programs designed to increase personal responsibility for healthcare. "Companies are asking employees to have more skin the game when it comes to healthcare costs. That's one reason we're seeing plans with higher deductibles. People will be more conscious about when and how they use the system," says Solander. ?...

The wellness rules are still in effect, says Solander. "They simply codified some previous rules that were in place from HIPAA (Health Insurance and Portability Act of 1996) and increased the amount of incentive for participation in wellness programs from 20% to 30% of premiums and, in some cases, up to 50% for smoking cessation programs." ?...

"The problem is that the penalty is not tax deductible," says Solander. "It's all based on the CPIU, the Consumer Price Index Urban. But medical inflation is at a much higher rate than the CPIU. If things continue, that 40% will get bigger every year, so you will be spending more money on benefits that are not tax deductible. And you will not be giving your employees any additional advantage."