As TPAs, we have a responsibility to our clients to understand the laws that affect the employee benefit plans we administer. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is no exception. Fortunately, many comprehensive-service TPAs – Cypress included – belong to the Society of Professional Benefit Administrators (SBPA), which serves as a go-to resource for education and compliance.
Thanks to SPBA, we’ve been following the ACA from the very beginning and receiving regular updates as deadlines approach and how-to explanations are needed. I’m talking information on everything from big-picture reporting requirements related to Minimum Essential Coverage and Applicable Large Employers to the finer details like a labeling requirement that will now impact beer brewers across the nation.
This labeling requirement is a great example of how in tune TPAs like Cypress are with the ACA and other benefit-related rulings. To provide a little background, according to the requirement, brewers in the U.S. must start labeling all of their beers with a detailed calorie count. Why so? When the ACA was first being drafted, this idea was proposed among legislation, perhaps as a way to help combat obesity or better inform consumers by including nutritional specifics. Some questioned the cost it could mean for brewers to add this extra labeling to their products and the penalties to be enforced for non-compliance. Ultimately, the requirement made it through as-is when there was a push to get ACA passed as final law.
So, yes, as an SPBA Member TPA, Cypress keeps up-to-date on the ACA and all of the other regulations that apply to our self-funded clients. We stay educated on the main, more universal points and what is expected of the clients we work with, but we also pay attention to the finer details even when they only affect a small number of employers.