Another update to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was announced this month. This update announced simplified reporting regulations, and lists information that no longer needs to be reported. The digest below, provided by Nathan Wechsler & Company, offers a concise explanation of the new rules.
If you make a qualifying offer of coverage to full-time employees, you report specific information. A qualifying offer is one that makes available a minimum value coverage that provides employee-only coverage at a cost of no more than about $1,100 for an employee in 2015, combined with an offer of coverage for the employee's family. The information required includes:
- If the offer is for a full year of coverage (which it typically would be), you report the names, addresses and taxpayer I.D. numbers of employees who received the offer. You will also need to give employees a document spelling out your offer.
- If you offer coverage for less than 12 months, you can check off on a form the months for which the offer was made.
- If you make your offer to at least 95 percent of your full-time employees and their families, you can use a simpler form that covers your entire workforce, including those that do not receive an offer of coverage.
- If you aren't sure at the time the form is due whether an employee is full-time (e.g. full-time status hasn't yet been decided), you can just list known full-timers and others who may be or become full-time. To have that flexibility, however, you will need to have made an offer of affordable coverage to at least 98 percent of the people identified on your list.
Some Information No Longer Required
The new regulations omit information that isn't necessary to understand coverage that is provided and being offered, including, but not limited to:
- The length of any eligibility waiting period;
- Your share of the total health benefit cost, and
- The amount of advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions.
While these changes can result in some cost savings, they won't likely cause you to begin offering coverage if you were not already doing so, or to offer coverage earlier than you would otherwise be required to avoid the "employer responsibility" payment. For employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees, the play or pay deadline has been pushed back to 2016.
Affordable Care Act Resources
TCIA strives to keep the industry apprised of new Affordable Care Act updates and related regulations. Here are previous news stories we have published about the ACA:
- Affordable Care Act’s “Employer Mandate” delayed. This update discusses new reporting requirements, deadline changes, and three major changes to the “employer shared responsibility provisions” of the ACA. Read more.
- Business owners must issue Healthcare Notice by October. Not all of the employer requirements of the ACA were delayed until 2015! You should have issued a Health Insurance Marketplace Notice to your employees last October – depending on your organization type and/or annual revenue. Read more.
- IRS releases new online resources for Affordable Care Act. Need to learn more about the tax benefits and responsibilities that come with the ACA? What about your tax return this year? This update will show you where to start. Read more.
- “Play or Pay” delayed until 2015. Small business owners have criticized the complexity of the ACA's requirements, and The Administration responded by extending the “Play or Pay” deadline, granting business owner more time to resolve compliance issues. Read more.