ACA Compliance Causing Employers Headaches

By Rowanne Roman, January 22, 2016

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Healthcare Reform, Obamacare…it’s known by many things, but easy isn’t one of them. The ACA brought with it many changes not only to the healthcare system, but it also ushered in many new compliance issues that employers are required to address.

By now, most employers that are considered Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) are aware that they are required to report certain information about its health plan offering to the IRS. Using Form 1095-C, employers must report to the IRS and provide each full time employee this report that outlines if the coverage they provided covered Minimum Essential Benefits and was affordable based on the 9.5% test.

The reporting of Form 1095-C is regularly scheduled to follow the same timeline as the end of year W-2. It’s based on calendar year reporting and must be provided to employees no later than January 31 each year. Of course, to provide employers more time to gather data and ultimately report, the Administration has delayed the deadline of 1095 Reporting to March 31, 2016.

So we know that reporting must be provided, but we’re finding most employers are still struggling with “HOW?” Do we use our payroll vendor? Do we use our accountant? Our HRIS system? Our internal staff? A simple web search will deliver copious results of companies offering to handle this reporting dilemma. The question is: who do you use? And more specifically, what are they going to do for me? What does it cost?

First, there are many companies that have developed sophisticated software programs designed to assist companies with data collection, form auto-population, and some will even handle the printing and mailing for you. Important to note is whether or not they will also E-file the forms, along with Transmittal Form 1094-C directly with the IRS. These are all questions that should be addressed when selecting a software program.

But what happens if you have questions? Not only about the reporting, but other ACA requirements like FTE Tracking, ALE Determination, Penalty Assessment Analysis, Measurement and Stability Period Tracking? Do you have a resource for that? Most software providers provide excellent, state-of-the-art software. It’s based on sophisticated algorithms, fancy HTML code, but what about core understanding of the law itself? Before you decide, check the boxes that are going to deliver your company meaningful results AND protect you from liability. For example, not filing Form 1095-C will cost you $500 per form. If it’s late or inaccurate, it’s $250 per form.   It’s big money, and this time, the IRS is serious!

BlueStone Advisors is a full service consulting and risk management company. Contact us today learn more about the ACA and how we can help you manage your compliance risk.

Tags: ACA Compliance, Employee Benefits

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