Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Resources Available on Health Care Reform

As regular readers of this blog know, the health care legislation signed into law by President Obama in March has many implications for the attractions industry. The fact that the law is actually two different pieces of legislation—further complicated by the many “holes” that need to be filled in during the regulatory process—make it difficult to navigate, especially for small and seasonal businesses.

At its April meeting, the IAAPA Government Relations committee established a task force of industry professionals to help IAAPA GR staff and our consultants analyze the new law and determine where we could be most effective in the rulemaking process. The task force worked throughout April and May and produced two products we hope will be useful to IAAPA members as you begin to think about compliance.

IAAPA published a summary of key provisions that will most likely impact the attractions industry over the next four years. Members are encouraged to review the summary with their attorneys and Human Resources professionals. The summary addresses the employer responsibility provisions, food labeling requirements, tax credits, and other useful information, and provides a timeline for when various provisions go into effect.

On June 9, at 1 p.m. EDT, IAAPA will host a special webinar on health care reform. The webinar will be led by George Olsen of Williams & Jensen, a leading expert on health policy. By participating in this webinar, IAAPA members will learn about the provisions of the new law that uniquely affect the attractions industry, where further guidance is needed, and about IAAPA's ongoing legislative and regulatory efforts. Specifically, George will address:
  • Employer responsibilities and penalties
  • "Grandfathered" plans and things to consider before making changes to your current health plan
  • Food labeling provisions
  • A timeline for implementation
The webinar will feature an extended question-and-answer period where members can get guidance on the law and its implications for their businesses.

The webinar is free for IAAPA members, but you must register in advance.

As I said above, the health care reform issue is far from over. IAAPA is continuing to work on health care reform through the legislative and regulatory process, and will keep members aware of any developments.

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