June 28th, 2012 is a date that will not live on in infamy or otherwise. On that date The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) took the path of least resistance, declaring that The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) is Constitutional, while tearing the claws from the so-called “mandate’s” enforceability. In one fell swoop, SCOTUS both locked PPACA in as the law of the land, and eliminated the government’s ability to enforce the mandate against individuals. With the smoke clearing, and exchanges advancing nationwide, the eyes of regulators now shift to employers and self-funded plans. State commissioners, who since ERISA’s passage in 1974 have sought to control self-funded benefits, now wave the Obamacare flag in efforts to advance their long held desires. As the cost of providing insurance increases, and employers – long since thought untouchable by the self-funded industry – must decide between exiling employees to the exchange, or sampling self-funding, self-funded plans that implement cost containment solutions can position themselves to reap the rewards of this paradigm shift.
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