On Tuesday, over 100 administrators and principals from Yeshivos, Bais Yaakovs and day schools participated in Agudath Israel of America Yeshiva Services Division’s inaugural webinar. Participants hailed from throughout the northeast, as well as Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Scranton, Seattle, and other locations.
The 90 minute webinar focused on steps that nonpublic educational institutions can take to comply with the myriad of new rules and regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the sweeping healthcare reform legislation enacted in 2010. Its rules are being phased in over many years, and will eventually impact almost every employer and individual throughout the country, including most yeshivos and their employees. For example, under rules set to take effect in 2015, educational institutions that employ on average 50 or more full-time employees or their equivalent are generally subject to the employer mandate and related penalties. While there are some transition rules that provide relief, they are limited in scope and generally expire at the end of 2015.
The webinar was offered at no cost, and featured four noted experts on this complex set of laws: Mr. Reuven Bauman, Esq., Vice President and Senior Legal Counsel, ERISA/Benefits and Compensation, for HSBC- North America; Mr. Carey S. Gruenbaum, President, Preferred Services Group, Cedarhurst, NY; Mr. Yisrael Miller, Navigator for the New York Marketplace, health insurance enrollment, Achiezer Community Resource Center, Far Rockaway, NY; and Mr. Adam Okun, ASA, MAAA, Senior Vice President, Frenkel Benefits LLC.
Webinar participants were offered crucial information about the ACA’s requirements. Topics discussed included the individual mandate; the exchanges/marketplaces and subsidies; the employer mandate; individual marketplace options; and key reporting and disclosure obligations. The experts particularly stressed the steps that the institutions can take now in order to comply with rules taking effect for 2015, and avoid unnecessary stress and costs down the line. An extensive question-and-answer session followed, where individual administrators and principals interacted with the panel of speakers. An archive of the full webinar is being made available to participants, enabling them to review any information in the future.
Mrs. Deborah Zachai, director of education affairs of Agudath Israel of America, says the webinar marks a crucial step in the Yeshiva Services Division’s efforts to help our community’s educational institutions. “Yeshiva administrators are very busy people. It takes them time they don’t have to travel back and forth from our workshops. Today we brought the workshop to them. The convenience of viewing the entire presentation from their desk computer made it much easier for them to participate and also enabled out-of-state administrators to participate as well. We will be adding computer-based webinars to our current mix of live workshops and e-mail communications in order to better serve the yeshivos.”