Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (health care reform) goes into effect. This means that individuals who do not have Minimal Essential Coverage (MEC) through an employer, private or public exchange or public program must be offered the new Essential Health Benefit packages (EHBP). Employers of fewer than 50 employees do not have to offer medical or dental benefits. But those that choose to provide benefits will be required to have MEC, unless their medical plan is grandfathered. View full article »