So, we’ve had some time to start to digest the biggest components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, when they go into effect and the implications for your health plans.

However, there are some lesser-known aspects of the law that may affect your company’s policies for new moms, wellness efforts and health education programs. Three such hidden gems are listed here, although it’s important to note that I learn something new about this law every day, so there likely are more.

For now, though, I offer you the 3 Bs: Breastfeeding, burgers and bronzers.

* Breastfeeding: Under PPACA, employers are required to provide an unpaid "reasonable break time for nursing mothers" in the first year after giving birth. Women would need to be provided a private place, other than a bathroom, to use a breast pump. Employers with fewer than 50 employees would be exempt from this provision if they can show compliance would impose "an undue hardship."

* Burgers: Here’s a shiny jewel to add to your wellness communications – PPACA also directs restaurants with 20 or more locations (looking at you, McDonalds and Starbucks!) to display calorie counts on menus, menu boards and drive-thrus. The Food and Drug Administration has been tasked with creating a new national standard for menu labeling.

The law affects more than 200,000 fast food other chain restaurants, likely the ones frequented by your employees and their families. This one’s definitely a win-win, since it will force workers to be acutely aware of what they’re eating, and implementing it won’t cost you a dime!

* Bronzers: Strangely, PPACA imposes a 10% tax on indoor tanning services. From what I hear, this is nothing more than a unique revenue generator to help pay for the law, but it’s odd nonetheless. Also, there’s no word on whether the cost of tanning – tax and all – might be claimed as medically necessary for folks who suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

SAD most often strikes women age 18-30, also a group known to frequent tanning salons. Still, since too much tanning has been linked to deadly forms of skin cancer, the new tax is another cost-free info nugget you can add to wellness and health promotion efforts.

What hidden provisions have you identified? Are they good or bad for your health/wellness plans? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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