The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors

by Brent R. Grover

‘Obamacare’ Could Mean Changes to Your Plans

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Now that the act has been upheld, some businesses will have to take quick action to ensure compliance. Especially for those companies most affected by the law, this could mean significant adjustments to business plans.

According to Brent Grover, author of The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, companies must account for each individual within a company and factor in the annual cost of that person’s ongoing employment to form realistic budgets upon which to base business decisions.

Staffing expenses are especially sensitive and complex when it comes to budgeting. Brent advises companies to take all factors relating to hourly wages, overtime, salaries, commissions, bonuses and fringe benefits into account.

Thanks to Obamacare, the human resources aspect of budget formation is now even more complex. Starting in 2014, businesses with more than 50 full-time employees can be fined $2,000 per employee (excluding the first 30 employees) if they don’t provide health coverage for employees working 30 or more hours per week.

The cost of the plan must also meet the government’s standard of affordability for employees, which means an individual’s annual premium cost can’t exceed 9.5 percent of the person’s household income.

Obamacare may throw a wrench into some companies’ plans, but businesses can take changes in stride by accepting that they are bound to happen. Brent encourages companies to complete long-term planning regardless of the possibility of major changes, and then adjust as needed.

Brent says leaders and employees “must expect that like a ship on a long voyage, the company’s course will be adjusted according to sea conditions and weather, but the destination will not change.”

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