12 Dec Affordable Care Act: Is YOUR Company Prepared?

Affordable Care Act: Is YOUR Company Prepared?


The health care reforms are a hot topic now that Obama has been re-elected. Sure, the mandates seem far enough away, but some deadlines are coming up much sooner than you think.

Do you as an employer know what this means for you? Here are some key terms and dates everyone should be aware of to avoid penalties.

Summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). Employers have to provide an SBC in plain language to both the participant and the beneficiaries for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2012.
60 Day notice of plan changes. Before the health plan changes, the issuer must give a 60 day advance notification for any changes in the plan.
$2,500 limit on Health FSA Contributions. The law will now limit salary reductions for health flex spending accounts after January 1, 2013.
W-2 reporting on employer-sponsored group health coverage. Employers with over 250 W-2 forms being issued must now report the cost of group health coverage, beginning with the 2012 tax year.
Preventative care for women. Health plans have to cover preventative care for women without cost sharing, effective Jan. 1 2013. 
Employees must be notified of the availability insurance exchanges as of March 1, 2013. 

On top of these reforms, the “Pay or Play” mandate will be going into effect in 2014. Even if that seems far away, the sooner you understand the terms and take care of your employees, the better. 

Pay or Play:

The mandate requires companies to offer health care if they have more than 50 full time or equivalent employees. There are penalties for companies falling under this category for not offering affordable coverage, or coverage that does not provide a minimum value. Employers will also be penalized if full time employees purchase coverage through an exchange and receive a cost-sharing reduction or tax credit for the coverage.

The changes are coming up quick, and the penalties will be quick to follow. With the first of the year coming, are you prepared to handle the changes? 

For more ACA information or for more questions, please contact the Barrow Group, LLC.

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