When he ran for president,
While the order was designed to fulfill a campaign promise, it raised concern among the millions of Americans covered by Obamacare, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or by the initials ACA.
It may also leave employers wondering how and when to discuss potential changes to the ACA with their employees, who may be looking for guidance on what could happen to their health coverage in the months and years ahead.
"We need to remember what an executive order is - it's a policy statement from the
McGannon said that while changes won't take place immediately, enforcement of some ACA provisions may become a lower priority for some agencies. Trump's order calls on federal agencies to ease the law's regulatory burden.
For example, there could be less enforcement of the health care coverage mandate for individuals or for employers to offer plans that meet minimum essential criteria. But he stressed that the takeaway for employers is to continue to comply with the law since it has not changed.
"So the best approach for employers is to keep in contact with their brokers and insurance consultants," she said. "Health care reform was constantly evolving and it still is."
Like McGannon, she advised employers to maintain compliance with the ACA regulations.
Knight pointed out that deadlines for employer reporting forms such as the 1094 and 1095 are coming up in the next few weeks. The two forms indicate who has coverage and what kind of coverage. Form 1094 is sent to the
"If an employer is offering a group health plan now, I don't foresee changes occurring before the next enrollment period," said Young, president and founder of
She also said that in discussing health care with employees, it's OK for an employer to admit that he or she doesn't know the answer to a question. But it's important to follow that up by either finding out the answer from the comp any's insurance broker and reporting back to employees or putting the employee in touch with someone who can provide an answer.
"The more you communicate, the less panic there will be among employees," Young said.
She advises employers to work with trusted advisors such as consultants and insurance brokers to stay on top of the ACA and share information about changes regarding their health plans with employees as they receive them.
"It's important to focus on your healthcare plan and not be concerned about other companies' plans. Also, remember that social media may not be giving you the whole story," Young cautioned employers.
Knight said that a lot of the employers
She added that ongoing education is important for employers. That education maybe in the form of a program on employment law or a program on health insurance. Knight said that
"We teach little bits at a time, so it's a knowledge-building process," she said.
When the ACA was first p assed and signed into law in
"There's so much included in the health care system that the ACA can't just go away immediately. It's a massive law that touches so many agencies with implementation and enforcement," she said.