Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), debates have arisen regarding the law and compliance. Regardless, it remains an active part of employment law even entering 2022. Add to this the complications of COVID and there have been many challenges present when it comes to remaining ACA compliant. Thankfully, we have compiled the following pertinent information that you can use to navigate the process as a business owner:
What is The Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
The ACA was signed into law in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2014 that many of its more significant provisions went into full force. These provisions include an employer mandate which required employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer basic essential health coverage or pay penalties that ranged from minor to severe. To adhere to the ACA mandates, employers had to collect and report data and manage numerous documents pertaining to the processing and filing of claims and benefits.
Changing With the Times: What Does the ACA Look Like in 2022 and Beyond?
The pandemic added new requirements to the employer mandate. These placed more demands on a company’s resources for providing and managing affordable healthcare for all eligible employees. For example, the Family First Coronavirus Response Act requires employers to provide sick paid leave or expanded medical or family leave for health issues relating to COVID-19. Therefore, COVID has added yet another complexity to an already confusing system, making it that much harder for businesses to maintain good standing and avoid fines or penalties.
What Constitutes a Full-Time Employee?
Since many of the ACA mandates are based on the number of full-time employees a business employs, it’s important to understand the basis of what constitutes a full-time employee under the ACA. These standards state that any employee is considered full-time if they work either 30 hours or more in a week or 130 hours during the month.
In some cases, businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees must meet the ACA because they are instead employing full-time equivalent employees. If a part-time employee is working full-time hours they must be considered a full-time employee in terms of the ACA. There is usually no need to include seasonal employees in this number nor is it necessary to include employees who have health coverage under a VA health program.
How to Comply with the Affordable Care Act if You Have Full-Time Employees
The steps to take to ensure compliance with the ACA are immense, time-consuming and can be confusing. As mentioned above, all businesses that employ 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees must meet the requirements of the act. The following are the steps that must be taken to ensure a business is meeting ACA mandates:
Determine the status of the group’s health plans.
Review all plan documents to determine if benefits must be changed to meet ACA standards.
Consider tax-favored arrangements.
Provide any applicable required notices to employees and their dependents.
Ensure compliance with the ACA’s pay-or-play responsibilities.
Meets the requirements for all information reporting.
Outsource Your HR Managed Services to Lessen ACA Compliance Burden
From gathering proof of full-time employees to calculating costs, relying on a team of HR experts can help keep you within compliance requirements, allowing you to better serve your employees. Contact us at TPC to let us help you navigate this sometimes frustrating process. After all, your main objective should be to do your job well, not to worry about whether or not you are meeting ACA compliance.