ACA Compliance for ALEs in 5 Simple Steps
WHAT YOU MUST TO KNOW TO STAY ACA COMPLIANT
This content is geared more for companies and other small businesses who deal with employee/employer mandate. Well the year has started off. Some of you might already have health care coverage provided to your employees already provided. If you have not gotten to this point yet, it’s in your best interest to get your head in gear. You need to have healthcare coverage made available to your employees. It’s not just good for your bottom line, it also involves the questions of ethics and legalese.
With the year almost 3 months in, the enrollment period might have already ended for some of you. Even if this period hasn’t ended, we need to talk about compliance. It’s up you to uphold the mandate.
What exactly is in the mandate?
This usually depends on the company and the insurance coverage that is available. To generalize things a bit more, the basic concepts behind the mandate are usually the same.
Allow me to explain this a bit further. I will be doing so by pointing out some basic concepts that employers need to keep in mind when it comes to their healthcare coverage and the compliance that needs to be followed.
STANDARD EMPLOYEE STABILITY PERIODS
These rules involve those employees which are ongoing. Say that an employee has been employed for the past year or so. Let’s say this employee has racked up at least 1,560 hours of work, if not a little bit more. Well this means that qualify. This means that standard stability program needs to be setup. At the same time each year this employee can enroll in standard healthcare coverage.
This rule applies to anyone how fits this bill. Take a look at the plan’s enrollment periods. Match up this plan to the actual plan period. You need to do this to reduce the number of multiple enrollments. Without a plan like this, the same guy could enroll in the same plan five times in a row.
This means lots of paperwork and miscommunication. Having this stability period will cut down on the loose ends.
You also need to take into account the administrative end of things. Let’s say that an enrollment period will begin on January 1, 2016. Well the administrative period would be around October of 2015. This will give the company and employee a 90 day window. I hope this makes sense to you.
REVIEW ALL JOBS AND THEIR TIME-PERIODS
This is an important part of compliance. You need to go over your employee roster. Look at who is full-time, part-time and seasonal. You also want to look at who is working variable hours.
Take full-timers for instance. They average about 130 hours of service. Everyone else falls behind this line. Now some of these people will not meet the requirements for healthcare coverage, many of them will.
Now you might have some people that will not always considered part-time or full-time. This is why they are fall into the “Variable hours.” Will these people need healthcare coverage for compliance on the part of the business owner? It all depends on the hours that are worked.
If they work at the minimum of hours required or more, over a certain period of time, than yes they could fall under the umbrella. This is why you have to go down your list. This way you keep up with those who are compliant and those who are not.
REPORTING TAKES TIME
Many ask how the government will know if someone is reaching compliance and who is not. This is an easy answer. You have to keep up with your reporting. Anytime you do something for healthcare and compliance, it needs to be reported. This goes for employees who have coverage and who do not. Some might be eligible for coverage and have not enrolled yet. It doesn’t matter. Everything needs to be written down and reported.
This is called “self-reporting.” The government will check the books. This is all part of the auditing process. This all falls under compliance. If you forget to report one thing, the government will pick up on it. It’s in your best interest to keep up with this type of “bookkeeping.”
The companies may have to pay severe fines and face major penalties. Do not take this lightly.
IT’S TIME TO REVIEW
Before you submit anything, you have to take the time review. Yes, this does become a time-consuming process. It will be even more time-consuming if you end up paying a fine or facing a penalty.
Take the time to review it all before hitting the “submit” button. Once it’s in there for compliance, than it’s in there.
You can find more information about healthcare coverage and compliance on the web. Try going to one of the official site, something like they offer at work. If you are a boss you can find out more information at some of the more official pages.
Article provided by Neches FCU, an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
Neches FCU is one of the top Texas Credit Unions. Its superior team of professionals is always ready to provide services to all members.
They are respected for a personal, positive work atmosphere, delivering a memorable service experience, and where all clients are known by name.