Navigating the Complex Sea of ACA Compliance

July 18, 2016

Six years after being signed into law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still one of the most important aspects of healthcare for employers. 2016 was the first year that employers were required to report on ACA compliance. This complicated process can understandably leave employers overwhelmed or unsure of how to proceed.

With the 2017 reporting deadline coming up fast, it’s important to be ahead of the game and well prepared. Follow these three steps to determine your company’s compliance:

1. Identify Full-Time Employees

The ACA defines full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) as those who work 30 or more hours per week, but it can be complicated. It’s important to keep very close track of employees’ hours in order to know which benefits you’re required to provide. Make sure you consider varying circumstances like temporary employees, independent contractors, and interns. For more information, refer to this IRS Webpage, where you can find a formula for calculating FTEs.

2. Keep Track of Coverage

Once you’ve calculated how many full-time employees your company has, it’s time to track if and when each FTE was offered healthcare coverage. Make sure you note what dates the coverage was offered, and what date the employee accepted or declined that coverage. Organize your coverage offers early (i.e. when the employee is hired) to prevent any last-minute scrambling for information.

3. Walk Through the Forms with Employees

ACA compliance can be confusing for employers, but even more so to employees who might be unfamiliar with new laws and the multiple forms involved. You can help your employees understand the ACA forms they will need to complete by explaining their purpose. Employees should know what to expect when filling out ACA forms—make sure they fully understand the details of their benefits and health care coverage.

Asure Simplifies ACA Compliance

As you can tell, ACA compliance is not a simple task for employers or employees. Without efficient Human Capital Management (HCM) software, it can be hard to know if you’ve taken all the right steps toward ACA compliance. Asure Software’s People Success Platform includes ACA healthcare reform software to streamline this process. Asure Software can prepare you for the responsibility of the ACA, no matter the size of your business, with the following tests:

Applicable Large Employer Testing

  • Measures FTE’s to determine firm size
  • Includes seasonal and part-time workers as applicable
  • Control Group Calculations

Employee Eligibility Testing

  • ACA FTE Test for New Hires and Standard/Rehire Reporting Periods
  • Handles seasonal, part time, and full time workers
  • Calculates hours, ACA eligibility status, and required coverage dates by employee
  • Updated benefit enrollment for ACA coverage waivers for employees and dependents

Affordability Testing – Safe Harbor

  • Employee lowest cost Monthly Premium will be identified
  • Safe Harbor calculation will determine if plan is “affordable” according to ACA
  • If a plan is determined unaffordable the potential penalty will be noted

All of these tests, paired with customized alerts, notifications, and electronic 1094 and 1095 filing, can prepare your company for ACA compliance. No matter how confusing ACA qualifications may seem, Asure Software is there to make sure it is done properly.

Sources:
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238561
https://www.irs.gov/uac/small-business-health-care-tax-credit-questions-and-answers-determining-ftes-and-average-annual-wages
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/270094
https://www.asuresoftware.com/products/hcm/aca/
https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/form-w-2-reporting-of-employer-sponsored-health-coverage