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 Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Access the latest healthcare 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.