What is the Affordable Care Act?
By now, you’ve probably heard about many of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Of particular note are a number of new healthcare reporting requirements that are needed to assist in the enforcement of the various health coverage required of individuals, employers, and insurers, with staggered effective dates. It is up to your HR team to ensure you are compliant. HRMS software can help.
Know your requirements
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires “large” employers (those with 50 or more full-time employees) to offer a health care plan that meets minimum value and affordability standards or face a penalty for each employee receiving subsidized coverage through an exchange. The rules for these requirements make up Section 4980H of the ACA.
However, the government has issued some transition relief rules to help employers catch up with the new regulations.
- If you have 50-99 employees, you won’t need to offer your employees health care coverage until 2016. Just make sure you don’t eliminate (or drastically reduce) any existing coverage.
- If you have 100 or more employees, you are only required to offer coverage to 70% of employees (and their dependents) in 2015.
- Starting in 2016, you’ll have to offer coverage to 95% to avoid penalty.
A word of caution: Additional guidance about healthcare reform is frequently released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is also weighing in. There are still more questions than answers.
A good overview can be found at: www.healthcare.gov. Also you can keep up with changes on dynamic HR resource sites such as the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Access the latest health care reform guidance on the appropriate agency websites, or speak with your company’s employment law specialists as you craft necessary changes to your benefits plans.