A new booklet designed to help California employers understand and prepare for the dramatic changes being brought about by health reform is now available to business owners throughout the state, free of charge. It can be obtained by contacting marketing@choiceadmin.com.

The booklet has been prepared by The Word & Brown Companies, CHOICE Administrators® Exchanges’ parent company and the nation's leading developer and administrator of consumer-choice health insurance exchange models.

“Our goal is to provide simple answers to health reform’s complex issues so that employers better understand the principal changes that are coming about,” said CHOICE Administrators President Ron Goldstein. “It is important that employers get ready for these changes, take advantage of new tax benefits and tax credits, and prepare for the new employer requirements as established by law.”

One of the most significant aspects of health reform, as discussed in the new booklet, is the mandating that every state establish a health insurance exchange by January 1, 2014. Such programs promote choice and make health insurance more affordable by allowing an individual or small business to compare the costs and benefits of various health plans while accessing available subsidies and tax credits.

CHOICE Administrators has been successfully operating such exchange models since 1996; and its flagship product, CaliforniaChoice®, is America’s oldest and most respected healthcare exchange for the small and mid-size employer market. “This experience provides us with a unique view on the future of the marketplace, and that perspective is a big part of what we want to share with employers through this Health Reform Guide,” said Goldstein.

The new guide also provides answers to such questions as “Will my current health plan benefits change?”... “Will I pay more or less for insurance coverage?” ... “Will I be required to provide employees with health insurance?” In addition, the guide includes a simple time line of “What happens when ...” along with the “10 things every employer should know about health reform.”

Goldstein recognizes that a great many parts to the new legislation have yet to be worked out, with many awaiting procedural guidelines from various government agencies, including the state. So while he believes that it’s not too soon for employers to become educated and aware of the changes, he strongly urges that employers work with a licensed health insurance broker to help in the process. “Ultimately working with a licensed and trusted broker is the best way to make sure that business is properly prepared for the new realities. Brokers can also answer any questions regarding changes to benefits, how to select the right health plan, and how to keep your employees and your business healthy and strong,” he said.