By Chris Hadden, CPP
Technical Sales Manager
Sounds obvious, right?
Sometimes I feel like I’m playing Bill Murray’s character from the early 90’s hit movie, Groundhog Day. Every time I turn on the television or listen to talk radio, I keep hearing the same question: When is “Obamacare” (the Affordable Care Act) going away?
I must admit, like many Americans who woke up on November 9th to find that the Republican party would hold the majority in Washington, DC for the first time in 12 years, I did not think the future of the ACA would be looking stronger in October 2017, than it did in November 2016.
The concern with this continuing story is complacency. Over time, as we keep hearing the same argument over, and over again, it’s easy to become complacent and forget how real the law is. All the experts on TV want to argue about the future of healthcare, but what about today? There are very real implications and expectations placed on employers that continue to be in place. For years now, I’ve continued to hear that the ACA is going away and all we need to do is get through today. That argument just no longer holds true.
We have written many blogs in the past on the ACA, and I hope they all continue to be excellent resources.
However, for today we will keep this focused on a few dos and don’ts for employers:
- Do: If you have not already, determine whether or not you are an Applicable Large Employer.
- Don’t: Reduce employees’ hours to intentionally keep them below the ACA full-time
- Do: Identify what resources (software, personnel, etc) you have in place to assist in maintaining ACA compliance.
- Don’t: Make assumptions that your payroll/benefits/HR, etc software is handling ACA compliance for you. It certainly may be, but it’s up to you to do a full investigation to understand what gaps, if any, may exist in compliance management.
- Do: Attend local industry or position meetings, roundtable discussions, or tradeshows that may be available. Talking with others in the community who hold a similar position or industry to yours is a great way to hear great ideas on how to manage ACA compliance. These groups are also a great way to meet and network with topic experts in the community.
- Don’t: Assume the health insurance you offer your employees meets the specific requirements in place by the ACA. Speak with your insurance broker or trusted advisor to ensure you are offering adequate coverage to your full-time employees.
- Do: Fully utilize websites such as IRS.gov, www.AmericanPayroll.org, and www.shrm.org. These websites contain a great wealth of information on keeping up with the latest changes on the ACA.
- Don’t: Delay in ensuring compliance and preparing to file the necessary 1095-C and 1094-C tax forms to applicable employees and IRS this year-end.
What is the future of the ACA? It’s hard to say, but we do know what the requirements are today. As 2017 is getting closer to being just a memory, and year-end is approaching at a rapid pace, don’t delay in making compliance for the Affordable Care Act a top priority.