As one year closes and another starts, every company’s HR team begins to scramble to close out the previous year and get setup for the new. Adding fuel to the fire is the impending tax season and all of the reporting and compliance tracking that needs to take place. It’s no easy task.
ACA compliance is one of the major facets companies need to report against and prove they’re providing documents, coverage, and staying compliant with the law. There are numerous things HR needs to be cognizant of and they are as follows:
Companies with fifty or more full-time associates must offer minimum coverage to at least 95 percent of them. With variances in time worked between each and every worker, it can be a nightmare to try and ensure you know who is full-time within the overall organization.
Furthermore, what does “full time” even legally mean? To understand the exact definition, the IRS states…
“For purposes of the employer shared responsibility provisions, a full-time employee is, for a calendar month, an employee employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week, or 130 hours of service per month.”
Beyond tracking an individual’s status as full-time or not, individual hours worked should also be tracked for disputes or other look-back needs. Simply knowing the status is not good enough as there are a variety of reasons why having an active history benefits the company as a safeguard.
Simply identifying the full-time employees is only part of the job. All of those identified still need certain documentation sent and the business must show proof. Was coverage provided to those eligible? HR should be leveraging a tool that allows them to track not only who is eligible, but also what was sent to them and when. This provides a clear yes or no on what was distributed.
“The Affordable Care Act requires employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan. This reporting is for informational purposes only and will provide employees useful and comparable consumer information on the cost of their health care coverage.”
This is a relatively easy piece to track, but one that can be easily forgotten in the grand scheme of the end to end process.
The last piece to always keep a record of is who is receiving what benefits and when. Each employee has their individual needs and won’t always be signed up for coverage through the company. That’s why it’s best to keep a record of who used what plan during what times. If the need ever arises to show an individual’s use (or lack of), a holistic view is best to be able to understand whether they received benefits or not as an eligible employee.