Karen Vines says she didn’t grow up thinking she’d be in the insurance field.
“The personal interaction has kept me in the business through all the ups and downs the industry has gone through and continues to go through,” said Vines, vice president of benefits, governance and compliance at IMA of Kansas.
A lifelong Wichita resident who attended Wichita State University, Vines joined IMA in 2006. She’s spoken at several events and conferences around Wichita regarding the onset of the Affordable Care Act, trying to help employers navigate the constantly changing regulations of law.
There’s been a slow release of information coming from a couple of states that they’re going to potentially see some beneficial premiums for individuals, but we’ve heard from other states that they feel their premiums are going to be different in a negative way due to the rating landscape not being fully matured. There are a lot of unknowns.
Some of the information will come from employers and then employers will have a responsibility, and insurance companies, to report certain information on individuals. The idea is for the IRS to collate that information from all angles and determine if I have insurance that’s accessible or if I need to pay a penalty, and that also allows the IRS to look at the employer side of the penalty.
Some reactions from clients, especially those in industries most challenged to figure out what to do, there was a huge sigh of relief that it would give them more time to explore options. … The best advice I give clients is that this just gave you more time to be thoughtful in creating a strategy. Let’s not ignore it for another year or you’ll just be faced with the same challenge.
There’s always going to be the dynamic of the political landscape, and how they view the law on a personal level and how to apply it from a business perspective. It’s easy sometimes for businesses to get caught up over what might change in the future.