The Easier - And Safer - Path to ACA Compliance
10 December 2015
More than 14 million words long and still being debated by Congress, it’s no wonder that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is overwhelming, confusing, and even frightening to many of the people responsible for complying with it. And HR isn’t the only business function in that boat. ACA compliance touches nearly every system within a company. Finance, tax, legal, IT, benefit s, and HR all play a role in ACA compliance.
An affordable, SaaS-based solution that can deliver an accurate, strategic, and accessible snapshot of the ACA’s impact on your business is one sure answer to the challenge of a safe and cost-effective path to ACA compliance.
According to a recent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans , employers identified three factors as the greatest drivers of higher costs for ACA compliance:
- The excise tax on high-value plans
- General administrative costs
- Costs associated with reporting, disclosure, and notification requirements
“Employers need to devote significant time and energy to maintain compliance with the law,” Julie Stich, director of research at the foundation, said in a news release about the report, 2015 Employer-sponsored Health Care: ACA’s Impact . “The extensive amounts of data that employers are required to collect can take hours [of labor] and even require complex IT infrastructures. The process has meant a cost increase for many, especially smaller organizations.”
Here, for example, are the primary tracking and reporting requirements of the ACA:
- In 2015, companies with 100 or more full-time employees (or the equivalent in part-time employee hours) were required to begin complying with the ACA’s “shared responsibility” mandate to offer minimum essential health coverage that is affordable to their full-time employees and dependents, or pay certain penalties. However, the law allowed two years for companies to phase up to the requirement to cover 95 percent of their workers. Companies with 50 to 99 full-time or equivalent employees have another year — until 2016 — to comply with the coverage requirements.
- If a company has more than 50 full-time employees — including full-time-equivalent employees — on average during the prior year, the employer is an “applicable large employer” (ALE) subject to the ACA’s coverage mandate or the employer information reporting provisions.
- For ALEs, the first Forms 1095-C (the statements for 2015) must be provided to each full-time employee no later than Feb. 1, 2016.
- ALEs must file Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C for each employee with the IRS for the 2015 calendar year no later than Feb. 29, 2016 (or March 31, 2016, if filed electronically).
- The required IRS forms must contain data tracked month to month in 2015, detailing employees’ hours worked as well as employees’ access to employer-provided healthcare and employees’ contributions to employer-provided healthcare.
It’s no wonder that 71 percent of respondents to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey thought the costliest years are yet to come. That doesn’t mean they aren’t already feeling a financial impact. Eighty-two percent said the law is increasing their organization’s costs this year, with most respondents projecting a 1 to 6 percent increase in compliance expenses.
Workterra’s Affordable Care Act Dashboard is a fully configurable solution designed from the inside out specifically to minimize the confusion and ease the complexities of ACA administration and compliance. In a nutshell, it provides companies of any size with a full suite of tools for accurate tracking and reporting.
At a glance, it’s easy to see how the features of Workterra’s Affordable Care Act Dashboard address small and large companies’ primary concerns around ACA compliance. It delivers tools to accurately help companies of any size:
- Set and monitor ACA look back, stability, and administrative periods and modeling
- Determine ALE qualification
- View various crucial ACA-related eligibility trends and working-hour patterns, including full time, confirmed eligible, trending eligible, and trending ineligible with low, medium, and high distribution
- Leverage advanced ACA reporting capabilities and accessible analytics for generating all of the required information to complete and transmit IRS forms 1094, 1095, 6055, and 6056, as well as for Safe Harbor reports and any applicable Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees
- Comply with all required employee notifications
The ACA is a big beast and a burden for almost any company with more than 50 employees. Tame it safely and easily with a SaaS-based solution like Workterra’s Affordable Care Act Dashboard that puts all of the necessary tools in your hands.