The Capital Area Franchise Association (CAFA) held its monthly networking lunch this week that included an informative panel on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and steps employer can take to prepare for compliance in 2014. The overwhelming consensus: if you haven’t already started preparing, you should.
CAFA, a network of franchisees and franchisors in the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas, hosted the event in Tyson’s Corner, VA and assembled a panel comprised of four unique perspectives. A franchisee, a franchisor, an accountant and an insurance broker contributed to the panel to clarify some of the ACA’s more confusing provisions and describe what effective action plans look like.
Chris Frye, a Virginia-based CPA with Yount, Hyde & Barbour, explained that effective ACA planning involves making a string of strategic decisions, and that business owners should make these decisions while surrounded by trusted advisors. Mark Carrier, President of the Maryland multi-unit hotel franchisee B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, added that no business will be unaffected the employer mandate. Although some businesses may not be required to provide coverage to employees, every business will see changes to the way they operate. CAFA President Joe Caruso stressed the need for prompt action on ACA compliance, with open enrollment for state exchanges beginning in October 2013.
As compliance deadlines approach, franchise owners need resources and materials to begin understanding how the employer mandate will impact their businesses. IFA’s new website, www.MakingSenseofHealthCare.org, contains tools and information for employers to determine which aspects of the employer mandate they are responsible for complying with, testimonials from franchise industry leaders about how they are adjusting their business and workforce to comply with the law, and an interactive feature to chat with IFA government relations staff in real-time to answer questions about the law. The site is sponsored by the Hylant Group.