The Bay Area Council joined with California’s leading business organizations today to launch the Health Law Guide for Business, a first-its-kind, business-oriented website (www.healthlawguideforbusiness.org) aimed at providing accurate and easy to understand information about the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in California. The guide is tailored specifically for the business community, will help business owners navigate through all 2,409 pages of the health care law with one simple website.
“The Health Law Guide for Business is a practical and fact driven website that houses the most current information regarding the new health care law. It was created by California businesses for California businesses, it will be an important resource for those interested in the law’s business-specific provisions like colleagues, employees and the media,” said Dr. Micah Weinberg, senior policy advisor to the Bay Area Council. “Corporate leaders can use the Health Law Guide for Business to learn about the provisions in the law that will have the greatest impact on their bottom lines.”
The website, funded by The California Endowment, was created by a partnership that includes the Bay Area Council, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, California Small Business Development Centers, Pacific Business Group on Health, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Small Business Majority, Small Business California, and The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce to address the need of California’s business community to stay informed of the implementation of and to help address misinformation about the law.
With a law that includes as many levels of benefits, complexities and details as the health care law, it’s understandable that many California employers remain confused about what the law means to them and how it will impact their business. A report by Pacific Community Ventures, Health Care and Small Business: Understanding Health Care Decision Making in California, found that out of the 804 California small business employers surveyed, 43 percent said they are more likely to offer health insurance after learning of key benefits – like tax credits – made available by the health care law.
One of the most helpful features of the website is a “tax credit calculator” helps employer’s estimate savings available under the law. With videos, interactive surveys and an easy to use format, the online tool includes numerous elements to serve a variety of preferences for gathering and retaining information.
The Health Law Guide for Business website reflects the most significant updates and developments in the process to implement the health care law in California. In 2010, California became the first state in the nation to enact legislation creating an Affordable Insurance Exchange as required under the federal health care law. Starting in 2014, the California Health Benefit Exchange will allow individuals and small businesses to compare health plans, get answers to questions, find out if they are eligible for tax credits for private insurance or health programs, and enroll in a health plan that meets their needs. The Exchange is separated into two separate programs, the Individual Exchange and the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). The SHOP will allow small businesses to band together to create a large purchasing pool so that small business owners will have access to the same lower rates that large employers have enjoyed for decades.
“Small businesses will discover that the most value from using the website will be a greater understanding of the changes in our health care system that have already gone into effect and allow them to plan for those that lie ahead,” said Scott Hauge, president of Small Business California. “Until 2014 when the California Health Benefit Exchange is fully functioning, the Health Law Guide for Business will allow them to access key updates, milestones, information on key benefits and news.”