Health Care Reform

5 ACA Tips for Businesses

Aug 15, 2014

Enforcement of the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions begin January 1, 2015 for employers with 100 or more full-time employees and January 1, 2016 for employers with 50-99 full-time employees. Just like everyone else, I think that is the only thing I can remember or at least understand! What can businesses expect if they choose to play or pay? When January 1, 2015 rolls around, companies will need to be ready to manage the implementation, compliance, and costs associated with legislation. To manage ACA administration effectively, companies will need to track, integrate, and analyze data across time and attendance, payroll, and HR solutions. Given the complexity of ACA administration, spreadsheets, home-grown reports, and manual calculations will not be up to the challenge.

Big picture, here are some ACA tips to get started on the navigation.

1. Determine if you’re subject to the employer shared responsibility regulations

If you’re a larger small business with part-time workers (or a subsidiary of a larger organization) you’ll need to determine whether you’re subject to the ACA’s employer shared responsibility regulations. Note that the Affordable Care Act counts the hours worked, not the number of full-time employees an employer has.

2. Decide which coverage option works best for your business and your employees

Continue purchasing group health care coverage from your insurance carrier or make coverage available to your employees through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
2a. Get familiar with the SHOP Starting November 15th, 2014 small businesses with less than 100 FTE can use the SHOP to apply for tax credits and get qualifying employee health plans. You can use a paper application with the help of an agent in the meantime.

3. Find out if you’re eligible for a tax credit

Small businesses can apply for tax breaks of up to 35% of their contribution to employees premiums if they have fewer than 25 full-time employees.

4. Provide employees with written notice about exchanges

Giving notice is no longer a required mandate for businesses, but considered a good practice. There is no fine or penalty failing to provide the notice as previously stated fall of 2013.

5. Find out if you have to report the cost of health benefit coverage

January 2014, employers with more than 250 employees was required to report the cost of employees’ health coverage on 2013 W-2s. Get ready for possible reporting of smaller employer groups.

Extra Help’s payroll outsourcing and timekeeping services offer reporting to assist with ACA compliance. Information collected during the time collection for payroll processing is used to accurately report average hours worked by full-time and part-time employees, including for the look-back and stability periods. No matter your company size, determining the potential exposure will align your company’s health insurance requirements when knowing how each employee contributes to the full-time equivalent count. Our webinar series on The Affordable Care Act- Managing the New Normal is a great look inside what you need to know for your business.