Tuesday, October 18, 2016

ACA Requirements for Employers

There’s a lot of information going around about the Affordable Care Act. With all the insurance and filing requirements now in place for individuals, employers, and insurance providers, it can be hard to keep up with what you need to do to keep your business compliant.

Well rest easy, you’ve found ExpressACAForms and we’ve brought you the Employer Shared Responsibilities straight from the horse’s mouth!

(This horse, of course, is the IRS.)

The Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions
So the first thing to know about employer shared responsibility is that it applies to Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), or employers with 50 or more full-time employees. So the vast majority of employers aren’t liable for these provisions, but they are:
These provisions went into play January 1, 2015, so you may be a little familiar with one or the other already.

Avoiding the Payment by Meeting the Provisions
There are two ways an ALE can be made to pay an employer shared responsibility payment:
  1. If the employer does not offer MEC to at least 95% of its full-time employees and their dependents, and
  2. If at least one full-time employee receives the premium tax credit for purchasing coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace.
The reasoning behind the first way to incur a payment is a little obvious; you’re directly disobeying the ACA and IRS’s rules about providing health insurance.

The second way’s reasoning is a little more nuanced. You see, even if you offer insurance to your employees, you still have to make sure it meets all the ACA’s minimum value and affordability requirements. If it doesn’t, when your employees go to a Health Insurance Marketplace to get more coverage, they become eligible for and receive a premium tax credit. This alerts the IRS that you become eligible for and receive an employer shared responsibility payment for not meeting ACA requirements.

Employer Reporting Requirements
So not only do you as an ALE have to provide affordable health insurance that meets all these MEC and minimum value requirements, but you have to report you did all that to the IRS each year as well with Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

Think of them as W-2s for your employees’ health insurance coverage. You use these forms to report the coverage you offered them, the coverage they accepted, and their (and their dependents) basic information. And in January each year, you send a copy to each of your employees so they can use it for their records, and in March you e-file a copy with the IRS to show your compliance.

By the way, one of the easiest, most secure, and most accurate ways to e-file these forms is right here with ExpressACAForms! And if you’re worried about staying ACA compliant throughout the year, check out our sister product ACAwise; it tracks your compliance, alerts you of any discrepancies, and e-files your return each year for you!

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