The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or ObamaCare, as it is commonly known, has been threatened to be repealed and replaced by the Republicans for several years, and this year alone, healthcare legislation has been tossed and turned around the White House causing confusion amongst employers and consumers.
The goal of ObamaCare is to enable every individual in the U.S. to have healthcare coverage that is affordable and meets some minimum value requirements, including coverage of doctor’s services, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, and prescription drugs.
- The ACA requires every employer with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to offer affordable, minimum essential healthcare coverage to their full-time employees for every month that they were of full-time status or pay a penalty.
- Employers are required to track and report their “offer of coverage” to their employees and file new tax forms to the IRS in the beginning of each year for the previous plan year.
- Individuals are required to have healthcare coverage, which can be purchased as a group plan (from their employer) or from the federal health insurance marketplace or pay a penalty.
- Like employers, individuals are required to report that they (and their dependents) had healthcare coverage on their tax forms to the IRS.
Employers and individuals alike struggled to get through the first year of ACA reporting, in 2015, but with the evolution of sophisticated ACA compliance and reporting technology and IRS deadline extensions, 2017 ACA reporting has gone much smoother.
Trump’s campaign promises to repeal and replace ObamaCare, immediately, when he was sworn in as President caused nationwide concern over how Trump’s healthcare legislation would impact Americans.
Individuals questioned if they were still required to have health insurance, and employers were concerned with what reporting requirements, if any, they would have to comply with.
Today: ObamaCare Remains
After several name changes, Trump’s repeal and replace ObamaCare plan did not turn out.
The Republican’s American Health Care Act narrowly passed the House on May 4, and went on to the Senate to undergo several more revisions.
All attempts at passing new healthcare legislation included removing the Employer and Individual Mandates; however, the last revision, the “skinny repeal” bill, failed to pass the Senate on July 28, which means that after nearly seven months of uncertainty about the state of the healthcare system, nothing has changed.
Easy ACA Compliance
Employers understand that a benefits administration system with integrated online enrollment and ACA tools make it easy for their employees to enroll in their benefits and performs the ACA tracking and reporting automatically. This is especially important for employers with 250 or more employees who are required to electronically file their tax forms with the IRS.
Last year, many employers underwent rigorous and time-intensive data aggregation and strived to complete the coding required to populate lines 14, 15, and 16 on the 1094 and 1095 tax forms or used “off-the-shelf” ACA reporting applications only to find out they did not have the required TCC code to E-file with the IRS, causing even more delays in completing their ACA reporting requirements.
No Worries with Web Benefits Design’s ACA Compliance and Reporting
Web Benefits Design has the only integrated ACA compliance and reporting tool in the industry that is capable of accessing clients’ historical benefits data used for managing Sections 6055 and 6056 reporting requirements with minimal client intervention. Because the data that is required to populate and generate the clients’ ACA tax forms is housed and maintained accurately in the client’s own benefits administration system, the ACA compliance and reporting module must be integrated in the client’s own benefits administration system, including the tool used to track variable hours employees.
See our full service ACA compliance suite HERE.