For employers, addressing and planning around the changes that come with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is crucial. Failure to comply with the ACA can result in harsh penalties and choosing a health care policy for your company can be difficult. Fortunately, this September, the IRS is launching an “ACA Wizard” that can help guide you through the changes that come with the ACA and to find a suitable course of action. The Affordable Care Act, effective March 23, 2010, was created to:

  • Reduce the number of people without healthcare insurance
  • Reduce the price of healthcare insurance
  • Improve the quality of healthcare in America

An essential piece of the ACA is the employer mandate, also known as the Play-or-Pay Mandate, which requires businesses to provide their employees with health insurance. By January 1st, 2015, all employers with 50 or more full-time employees (or more than $500,000 in revenue) must provide healthcare to those employees. In addition to the 2015 deadline, employers must inform all employees of the available health care options by October 1st, 2013, or face steep fines.Of course, fulfilling this requirement is not easy, and there is no one-size-fits-all option. Luckily, the IRS created the ACA Wizard to help employers find the best health care policy. Rather than searching through the convoluted regulations and details in the ACA to find what health care policy you need, the ACA Wizard asks what you do know: your company. It asks you a series of simple questions, such as the location of your business, size of your business, and whether you currently offer healthcare, then provides you with health insurance policies that could fit your needs.The IRS developed this tool to help employers. Although it does not give a direct answer to ACA compliance questions, the Wizard guides employers through the process. The new regulations that come with the ACA can be difficult to adjust to and the consequences resulting from lack of compliance are serious. Enlisting the help of payroll specialists, such as Payroll Specialties NW, can help your company navigate the new ACA regulations.

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