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MHS Board updated on health care reform laws

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 22nd, 2013

MENDOTA - Simply put, the purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to make some type of healthcare coverage available to everyone. Some parts of the legislation are already in place, but the law must be fully implemented by employers, including school districts, in less than a year.

In preparation for these changes, Mendota High School Superintendent Jeff Prusator invited guest speakers, Laurie Miller and Mike Parrott of Miller, Buettner & Parrott, Inc., to the Jan. 21 board of education meeting to share their expertise.

"Health care reform comes into play Jan. 1, 2014 and it's very complicated," Prusator said. "There may be some proactive things we need to do to protect the district and still offer a decent benefit package for our employees. I asked Laurie and Mike to walk us through it a little bit."

Miller said the Healthcare Reform Act was passed in March 2010 and several parts of it are already in place. "You may have noticed that fast food restaurants have to show the calorie count in food," she said. "One of the most popular items is covering your kids until age 26, and they don't have to be full-time students."

In addition, there are no longer pre-existing conditions for children under age 19 and in 2014, Miller said there will be no pre-existing conditions on anyone. Another highly publicized part of the law, contraceptive coverage, went into effect on Jan. 1.

Parrott discussed some potential costs of the law. "You have to understand that with the number of people coming into the healthcare marketplace, someone is going to pay for that," he said. "There has to be some imbedded cost. So, you have taxes and penalties."

Because MHS has 50-plus full-time equivalent employees, the district will qualify as a large employer.

For the complete article see the 01-23-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-23-2013 paper.

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