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CFOs underwater due to PPACA costs and regs.

The challenges of managing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health benefits, particularly for companies of under 100 employees, have become more difficult. The complex nature of these programs requires the chief financial officer to understand clearly the new business of employer-provided health benefits. In fact, with the financial risks involved, the CFO's involvement now is mandatory in several key areas: managing benefit costs; financing the program; examining opportunities offered by private health insurance exchanges; and identifying risk management alternatives.

LevelFunded Health Partners, LLC, of Virginia, which works with smaller businesses to identify PPACA alternatives, recently conducted a survey of small business CFOs. Here are the findings:

* 64% say that small group health insurance premiums are the fastest-growing threat to their company's bottom line.

* 42% of CFOs play a larger role in determining their company's health benefits options compared to the president or human resources staff.

* 69% say the complexity of ObamaCare as it pertains to their small group health insurance plans, take their focus away from other financial areas of running the business.

* 47% maintain that small group health insurance premium costs have deterred their focus toward overall employee health.

* 35% are concerned that small group health insurance plans have put pressure on their company's decision to add staff beyond the 50person threshold.

* 42% have put other capital investments on hold due to PPACA and the rising costs of small group health insurance premiums.

"The conversation around employee health benefit programs has traditionally been the role of HR and senior management," says Russ Carpel, chief executive officer of LevelFunded Health. "However, the financial implications of PPACA health programs have forced the CFO to play a larger role and shoulder more of the burden of employee benefits decisionmaking. The danger here is that other key areas of the financial heartbeat of a company receive less attention from the company's top financial thought leader."

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Title Annotation:YOUR LIFE; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2016
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