The ACA Training Wheels Are Coming Off. Are You Ready?

08 December 2016

It might seem like you’ve just begun to master the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after completing reporting for the 2015 tax year, but January is fast approaching. To make sure you handle the 2016 ACA reporting season like a pro, it’s time for a compliance standards tune-up.

The good news? You’ve been down this road before. The bad news? Several requirements with healthcare administration have changed slightly, and there are several new bumps and turns to be aware of. It’s important to understand these changes now, so you can begin gathering the resources you’ll need to navigate the ACA reporting season with ease.

New Year, New Requirements

Last year, we all got a welcome relief with the two-month extension for employee notification and filing deadlines. This year, we have no indication that we’ll be as lucky. For 2016 reporting, employers must send forms 1095-B and 1095-C to workers by March 2, 2017. Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C must be submitted to the IRS no later than Feb. 28 if you’re filing on paper, or by March 31 if you’re filing electronically. (Companies with over 250 reports must file electronically.)

Additional changes to keep in mind:

  • Expiration of transition relief for employer shared responsibility
  • Steeper coverage penalties
  • Updated forms
  • Increase to the compliance threshold for large employers from 70 percent to 90 percent
  • And more

These changes are significant; they could mean the difference between compliance and penalties for your company. Regardless of how comfortable you felt with last year’s ACA reporting, the training wheels are coming off and you’re headed into busy traffic. It might be time to get someone on your side to help you traverse the bumpy road of ACA reporting and benefits enrollment season. Don’t find yourself riding off the path and getting hit by the IRS bus.

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

If the thought of ACA reporting, even without the 2016 changes, makes you a little nervous, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by HUB International, many employers consider the burden of ACA requirements a top concern, especially small and midsize companies.

Do you feel confident to ride on your own this year? The training wheels may be off, but you don’t have to navigate ACA compliance alone. Get an ACA compliance partner to lead the way. An automated software solution for ACA reporting would ensure that you’re tracking and recording coverage provided to every full-time employee every month and provide you a storehouse of ready-to-go data for the constantly evolving requirements of healthcare reform administration.

Choosing the Right Partner

As you look for the right partner to assist your company’s ACA reporting, it’s important that they have these capabilities:

1. Eligibility Status and Tracking Measurement and Stability Tools

  • Applicable Large Employer (ALE)
  • FTE Estimator
  • Look-back/Administrative/Stability Periods
  • Look-back/Stability Modeling
  • Eligibility Trends

2. Reporting and Analytics Tools

  • IRS 6055/6056 (Forms 1094 and 1095)
  • Form W-2
  • Safe Harbors
  • Patient-centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee

3. Employee Notifications

  • Summary of Benefits Coverage (SBC)
  • Exchange Notification

WORKTERRA’s automated ACA reporting software has each of these tools and is the best way to make sure you’re saddled up for the 2016 reporting season. WORKTERRA’s proprietary software was created to give your company a strategic snapshot of the impact of healthcare reform on your business. Its user-friendly ACA dashboard was designed to minimize confusion and empower you to make accurate, efficient healthcare decisions with ease. Finally, WORKTERRA provides full configurability to help with your company’s unique compliance needs.
For details on the changes to healthcare administration requirements for the 2016 tax year, download our free e-book. Let WORKTERRA lift the burden of ACA reporting and give you peace of mind as you head into the new year.

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