Countdown to ACA Compliance for Employers
When does ACA compliance for employers go into effect?
The Affordable Care Act aims to make health coverage more accessible for more Americans, improving health and lowering costs across the board, however ACA compliance for employers can be confusing. Thankfully these aren’t changes you have to navigate on your own. If you’re struggling to learn about the changes or you’re not sure what deadlines apply, consider hiring a specialist or an outsourcing team to help you make the necessary adjustments.
Employer Size and ACA Benefits
The ACA made distinctions between small and large employers based on the same guidelines used by the IRS. Rules for health care plans differ between company types. Those with fewer than 50 employees have access to special plan rates. Those with more than 50 have additional reporting responsibilities.
In addition, there’s a tax credit available for the smallest employers, those providing jobs for fewer than 25 people. Unfortunately, the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit isn’t the only provision changing from year to year. While the paperwork can get complicated, the payoff is worth it. Not only can the credit be applied to previous or future returns, but you can also claim the money as a refund whether or not you owe taxes.
ACA Employer Responsibilities and Compliance Deadlines
Businesses are going to need all the financial help they can get. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, called for employers to take on a bigger role in healthcare coverage. Businesses with over 50 employees are now obligated to provide insurance plans to their workers or face tax penalties. Originally the deadline for compliance was January 1, 2014. Revisions pushed the deadline back to 2015, and there have been other changes with ACA compliance for employers as well.
Businesses with 100 or more employees face the first deadlines, with 70 percent of their eligible workforce needing access to affordable healthcare plans by the start of 2015. Coverage needs to reach 95 percent by 2016 to avoid penalties. Those employing 50 to 99 workers will have until 2016 to get all of their plans in line. Given that there’s already been one extension, however, it’s doubtful ObamaCare deadlines will be pushed forward any further. Employers need to ready themselves for the change.
Using PEO Services to Handle ACA Compliance for Employers
Outsourcing presents a fast and easy solution for dealing with many of the new ACA reporting responsibilities. Specifically, a Professional Employers Organization (PEO) can help employers find affordable healthcare plans. Because they represent so many businesses, these HR outsourcing services have the numbers needed for big discounts. This can be a tremendous boon, especially to smaller employers who may simply consider paying a monthly penalty, called the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment, rather than incurring the high cost of providing their workers with insurance coverage.
In order for ObamaCare to work, and for the scramble toward ACA compliance for employers to make any sense, it’s imperative for businesses to find reasonable healthcare programs instead of settling for paying fines. PEOs can make investing in employee benefits the better financial choice.