ADP’s Top 13 Employer Tips to Optimize the Affordable Care Act

Although we previously published a blog with a list of things employers must know to prepare for the regulations that accompany the Affordable Care Act, ADP recently put out a Top 13 list we thought you might also find valuable.

  1. “Know the requirements and deadlines.”  Ok, well that seems obvious, but employers should be prepared to accommodate tax implications and avoid penalties for non-compliance by establishing a timeline with key milestones to help guide the process.
  2. “Determine administrative impact on your company” because there are bound to be even more than you know.  The example provided in the article states: ““A prime example of an ACA provision with potentially large administrative impact is Shared Responsibility. Beginning in 2015, it requires tracking each employee’s full-time or part-time status every month, and maintaining that information as part of employee tax records.  Those kinds of requirements will clearly add to HR’s tasks, and may require additional manpower, at least while systems are being set up.”
  3.  “Calculate financial implications.”  As if the administrative ones weren’t enough, “reporting requirements, additional taxes, etc., will affect your cost of doing business”
  4. “Create a written summary of benefits and coverage for employees.  This is a four-page (or less) summary of your plan you must provide your employees with. It must be clearly written. Make sure you obtain acknowledgement of receipt of the SBC from employees.”
  5. “Notify your employees of public exchanges.”  Was due by October 01, 2013…..
  6. “Sign ’em up.  If you have at least 50 full-time employees, you have to offer them affordable health coverage. Make sure you offer the opportunity to enroll to all eligibles. Then develop a system to track, update and report on employee eligibility and enrollment to maintain ongoing compliance.”
  7. “Enroll employees’ dependents.  The law requires employers to offer coverage to qualifying dependent children of full-time employees up to age 26. You may also want to consider conducting a dependent eligibility audit, which typically show as many as 15 percent of dependents claimed by employees are not qualified for benefits.”
  8. “Prepare for automatic enrollment.  Employers with 200+ full-time employees will soon face new rules for enrolling new employees in the company’s group health plan.”
  9. “Assess your exchange/coverage options.” There are 3 options: “employer-sponsored plans, private exchanges and the new public exchanges created under the act. You’ll need to determine which works best for you, from both a financial and employee recruiting/retention standpoint.”
  10. Define and track full and part-time employees.  “The act requires this tracking — it’s the basis for many calculations that are coming down the pike. Start tracking now so you won’t have to go back and try to recreate the data later.”
  11. “Offer an employee wellness program.  An earlier ADP study showed wellness programs are an increasingly popular strategy for offsetting the expense of healthcare – without passing on additional costs to employees.”
  12. “Get a grip on your medical loss ratio (MLR) rebates.  These are sent to employers from their insurance carrier whenever health insurers do not spend at least a certain percentage of the prior year’s health insurance premiums on healthcare services. If you receive MLR rebate dollars, the plan must make a fiduciary decision about using the dough. A best practice is to communicate to your employees your intention as to how the MLR rebate will be used.”
  13. “Limit employee flexible spending accounts (FSAs)…Going forward, you will need to enforce a $2,500 annual limit on all employee healthcare FSA contributions.”

We hope you found all this helpful.  If you have any insights to share, please do so in the comments section below or on my facebook page.

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13 Tips of Health Care Reform Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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