Top 10 tips for communicating the ACA

1. Leverage best practices 1. Leverage best practices

Apply solid change management principles and use those communication approaches that work in your organization.

2. Apply a filter 2. Apply a filter

Focus your messages on actionable information about available coverage, choices and the impact of those choices on personal finances.

3. Avoid 'wonkiness' 3. Avoid 'wonkiness'

Keep politics out of your messages as much as possible — stick to the facts.

4. Keep it simple 4. Keep it simple

Write to an eighth-grade reading level to make it as easy as possible for everyone to understand health care reform.

5. Tailor as needed 5. Tailor as needed

The ACA may impact different employee groups in different ways. Think through the messages that affect all employees and those messages that affect only specific audiences.

6. Integrate with annual enrollment 6. Integrate with annual enrollment

Integrate messages, media channels and overall approach with your annual enrollment communication.

7. Use a range of media 7. Use a range of media

Convey your messages through an array of media channels to increase your chances of getting the messages across.

8. Focus on compliance 8. Focus on compliance

Materials impacted by the 2014 ACA provisions include summary plan descriptions and summary material modifications documents, as well as the required exchange notices.

9. Develop a plan 9. Develop a plan

Create an action plan that ensures you are focused on what is most important — covering all of the relevant provisions and audiences.

10. Capitalize on the opportunity 10. Capitalize on the opportunity

Use the widespread health focus to put tangible health and wellness opportunities in front of employees and their families.

The delay of the ACA's employer mandate threw employers a curve ball, and employees nationwide have also expressed confusion about upcoming changes to their health plans. Plan sponsors can help clear up the confusion this summer with these 10 tips for communicating the Affordable Care Act, courtesy of Anita L. Doncaster, communication sales & strategies leader at Aon Hewitt. [Images: Shutterstock]

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