Can My Company Live With the ACA?

Another update from the HR jungle….

Bob owns a company with 60 employees. He’s always offered health insurance to his headquarters employees but not to employees in the retail locations. The retail location employees tend to quit often, work varying schedules each week, and may have health coverage via a spouse’s employer’s plan. Bob decided long ago that it was a hassle to handle all the paperwork adding and terminating employees from the group health plan. So it was easier to not offer health insurance to the retail location employees.

Bob’s a sharp guy (that’s why he owns a company) and he’s tried to keep up with all the changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). He knows that his company is a “large” employer under the ACA because he has more than 50 employees. He knows that means his company could pay a penalty if the employee group health plan doesn’t meet the minimum standards set in the ACA, including offering coverage to most full-time employees.

Bob is concerned that some of the retail location employees may actually be full-time employees, meaning that they should be offered health insurance for calendar year 2015. Bob has also heard that there is transitional relief for employers with 50 – 99 employees. The transitional relief applies only to the 2015 calendar year but if his company meets the requirements, he gets another year penalty-free while he sorts out what he must do.

What options are available to Bob?

1. He could read the IRS regulation explaining the transitional relief requirements. (Bob’s tried reading IRS regulations before and he’d rather get his teeth drilled than go through that again.)
2. He could ask for assistance from the insurance agency or broker that sold the group health plan to his company, assuming they provide human resources assistance to clients.
3. He could take a quick look at the employer summaries on the IRS website and then wing it and hope it all works out.

Is your company struggling to understand how the ACA will affect the employee group health plan? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you grasp the basics of the ACA and how it affects an employer of your company’s size.

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