Though the federal health-care bill was passed only recently, employers soon will begin implementing new rules and deadlines.

Though the federal health-care bill was passed only recently, employers soon will begin implementing new rules and deadlines.

To help businesses prepare for changes, the Licking County Chamber of Commerce has scheduled a health-care reform luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, at the Reese Center at the Ohio State University Newark/Central Ohio Technical College.

Attendees will learn about both the short- and long-term effects of the bill.

Caroline Fraker, vice president of compliance and chief privacy officer for MedBen, will speak for 45 minutes, with a question-and answer-session following.

Kurt Holden, senior vice president for MedBen, stressed the importance of being prepared.

"We think it's important that employers know what's coming up," Holden said.

The presentation will include a timeline that will outline different provisions through 2018, Holden said. Some deadlines are as early September and October.

"We're getting bit by bit; we're getting pieces of this," Holden said.

Part of the transition will involve learning how to mitigate changes in prices.

The two stated goals of the law - to provide increased access to providers while also offering insurance at a lower cost - almost certainly will raise the cost of insurance, Holden said. This in turn, will cause employees to pay more.

"This is the most significant overhaul in our health-insurance system in the past 40 years," Holden said.

Many already are signed up for the event, said Jennifer McDonald, the chamber's communications and marketing director. "We want to have the most accurate, up-to-date information."

Those interested may sign up on the chamber's website at lickingcountychamber.com. The cost is $20 for members and $25 for others.