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5 ways CIOs need to prepare for Obamacare

John Brandon | Sept. 27, 2013
Healthcare reform in the United States focuses mainly on providing coverage to the uninsured, and odds are good that your company offers health insurance to most employees. However, there are still reporting and security requirements you'll need to deal with -- and you'll have to be a vocal leader to make sure these tasks are a high priority.

Payroll systems should be calibrated so that local field managers and human resources personnel can generate a report that shows actual hours worked, Lukin says. State exchanges will start requiring these reports in spring of 2016 to be both accurate and easily accessible.

4. Manage the Overall Technology Change
There's a temptation, even in a large company, to "bench" the CIO when it comes to complex legal and healthcare legislation. Often, new health legislation is left for the human resources department to control. But the Affordable Care Act, and its emphasis on the increased use of technology, makes this situation different.

Oliver McGee, a Howard University professor who served on the Clinton administration as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation, says the CIO has to lead the charge in how a company connects to the state exchanges, in any technology spending related to healthcare and in how the healthcare policies are implemented in IT.

5. Investigate Your Level of Healthcare Reporting
Large companies will need to take another look at their level of healthcare reporting, including which data fields are captured and stored. New requirements force employers to make Social Security number and wages of employees easy to access yet secure, says Joanne Hanson Pearson, an attorney at Pierce Atwood in Maine. (This data is used in part to help determine if an individual, couple or family meets the criteria for subsidized insurance under Obamacare.

Part of the complexity, she says, is that the level of reporting changes from one company to the next based on its size and market. It also changes based on the state exchanges and existing healthcare offerings available to residents.


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