In an already overwhelming regulatory landscape, The Affordable Care Act added a whole new set of requirements for employers, and, the law continues to change making it even more complex. As HR professionals, The Bayside Planning Group considers it our job to continually monitor the status of the ACA. Our ACA services are designed to keep our clients compliant and informed, and are just one more way we help them focus the bigger picture while we handle more tedious, yet important matters of the day.
Design benefit coverage to meet the requirements of the ACA
Assist with tracking hours
Ensure eligible employees are offered coverage
Assist with the reporting process and necessary tax forms
Handle employee notices
Individuals and Small Businesses may be eligible for a tax credit under ACA healthcare reform laws. The credit is applied as a discount on your monthly insurance premium. To see if you are eligible for a tax credit, use the Subsidy Calculator provided by the Health Insurance Marketplace. Or, if you are a business, use the Small Business Tax Credit Calculator provided by the Health Insurance Marketplace. In any case, both businesses and individuals must purchase benefits through the Health Insurance Marketplace to secure their tax credit.
EMPLOYERS: Employers who have more than 50 full-time equivalent employees must offer those employees benefits that pay for 60% of the minimum essential benefits. If you are in non-compliance, you will incur a penalty of $2,140 per year multiplied by the number of full-time employees, and excludes the first 30 employees. Additionally, the penalty is increased each year by the growth in insurance premiums. However, note you may also incur a penalty when at least one of your employees receives a premium tax credit in the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange).
INDIVIDUALS: Following is information on the Individual Mandate of the ACA. However, note the tax penalty for individuals has been recently repealed. The penalty, prior to 2019, affects individuals who failed to obtain qualifying health insurance. Individuals could have coverage through their employer, or through an individual policy to satisfy the requirement. If an individual did not have qualifying health insurance, the tax penalty will be $695 for adults. Additionally, the penalty is $347.50 for each child. However, the maximum family penalty is the greater of 2.5% of income, or three times the adult penalty, which is $2,085. Consequently, your penalty will be applied on your annual tax return.
Your employer paid benefits must comply with the “Essential Benefits” of ACA. Specifically, to be in full compliance with the law, your insurance policy must cover at least 60% of the costs of the following essential benefits. If you purchase an individual policy from the marketplace, it’s likely that your policy will also contain these benefits.