Benefits

Mike Psenka: The Analyst

By Rick Bell

Feb. 13, 2015

ACA 5 Year Aniversery

Mike PsenkaMike Psenka
Senior Vice President of Workforce Analytics
Equifax Workforce Solutions

Mike Psenka has spent the past several years patiently preparing employers for the inevitable — implementation of the Affordable Care Act. From procrastination to outright denial, it seems like Psenka has heard it all. He offered some observations on the ACA’s impact on the workplace.

“Many employers realized just how far behind they were organizationally in July of 2013 when [the Obama administration announced delays in the implementation of several ACA provisions]. The overriding theme from employers over the last 24 to 26 months has been, ‘This is more involved than we previously estimated.’ The delay allowed many organizations to push ahead and make the necessary changes so they could remain compliant when the legislation became enforceable.

“The ACA is primarily a compliance issue for employers. But, it is also a cost issue, revenue issue and brand issue for many employers. Because it touches so many areas within the organization, and there are so many intersecting lines, the ball can get dropped quickly. The ACA is a cross-functional effort. In addition to HR, finance and IT play significant roles in executing against this legislation. And, for businesses like staffing, it engages the business development, strategy and sales components of the organization.

“The intricacies of the legislation require new information flows that did not previously exist. And, as we have all heard in the past, ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ ‘Garbage out’ in terms of the ACA means not insuring someone who should have been insured, insuring someone who didn’t need it, creating the wrong benefit plans for your organization. Or, missing reports to the government that determine fines.

“There will be a new normal with the ACA. Like any significant legislation, it will be refined as we move forward.” 

Rick Bell is Workforce’s editorial director. For comments or questions email editors@workforce.com.

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