Another update from the HR jungle….
Marilyn is the HR director for her company. She’s spent a couple of years trying to figure out what the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) means for her company. They have 80 employees so she knows they are a “large” employer and could be subject to the employer penalty if the employee group health plan doesn’t meet the minimum standards set in the ACA.
Trying to sort through the details of the ACA, while keeping up with her regular duties is making Marilyn feel sick. She knows that she has to track each employee’s weekly hours to verify who is eligible for the group health plan. Under the ACA, a full-time employee works an average of 30 hours a week.
She knows that the ACA allows employers to use two different counting methods to count employee hours. The counting methods are the Monthly Measurement Period and the Look Back Measurement Method but she isn’t sure which method to use.
What options are available to Marilyn?
1. She could read the IRS regulation explaining how to count each employee’s weekly hours using the Monthly Measurement Period and the Look Back Measurement Period.
2. She could ask for assistance from the insurance agency or broker that sold the group health plan to her company, assuming they provide such assistance.
3. She could hope that the employer penalty will be delayed yet again so that she has another year to figure out what to do.
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