Companies who employ large numbers of workers, whether those employees are covered by union representation or the business resides in a "right to work" state, must comply with federal statutes relating to the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The PPACA is a massive program that attempts to cover every aspect of healthcare in the United States, and the effects on employers and employees have created increased costs, frustration, and confusion that creates situations like GMFC is currently experiencing. As a large multidivisional company with over 50,000 employees, GMFC must make critical decisions about healthcare coverage, where making the wrong choice could create a situation where the company goes out of business. This paper will present the issues surrounding continued health care coverage for employees at GMFC, a review of the new regulations covered by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the union's (Local 384) position towards any changes to the present level of health care coverage. Appendix A displays a visual representation of how each group is affected by the other organizations, and ultimately how the HMFC employees will be affected regarding healthcare coverage.
Healthcare Benefits at HMFC.
HMFC management decided, based on the size of the company, to self-insure employees with health care coverage. Using a subcontractor to administer the health care program, GMFC provided essential medical services, with a $2 million lifetime limit for each covered employee and dependent coverage for full time students up through the age of 22. Due to the extensive changes in health care coverage under the PPACA, however, the ability to remain competitive and profitable for HMFC is being threatened. Just in the two coverages mentioned in this case study, obvious increases in cost will occur. PPACA guidelines have eliminated lifetime and annual limits under health care plans for "essential health benefits" but plans existing prior to January 1, 2014 can establish a "restricted annual limit.