Preparing for the next wave of the Affordable Care Act: Employer responsibilities for 2015
Article by Erika Salerno
While the headlines and discussion about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) have subsided since the formal implementation and sign-ups earlier this year, for most employers, this is just a lull in the conversation. Several key provisions will come into play in 2015 so it's probably a good idea to start planning now. A few months ago, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations implementing employer responsibility provisions under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) that take effect in 2015. Here are some of the items that could affect your organization.
Small businesses, those who employ fewer than 50 employees, are not required to provide affordable health coverage or fill out any forms in 2015, or in any year, under the ACA.
Under the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the ACA, employers may be required to make an Employer Shared Responsibility payment if they do not offer affordable healthcare coverage, and one of its employees receives a premium tax credit for purchasing healthcare coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace.
The employer responsibility provision will generally apply to larger companies, those with 100 or more full-time employees beginning in 2015. In addition, companies with 50-99 full-time employees will be required to report on their workers and their health insurance coverage, but employer responsibility payments for those employers will not begin until 2016.
In the interest of brevity, I have only touched on the highlights of the requirements. Like most regulation, the devil is in the proverbial details. Presumably, you will be working with your health insurance consultants to identify the specific responsibilities for your situation so you can make the necessary plans and decisions for 2015.