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Sara Jensen

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Compliance

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the most sweeping healthcare legislation in decades. Beginning January 1, 2015, companies with 100 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees must comply with the employer provisions of the law. IES is committed to ACA compliance, in both letter and spirit. We are also committed to using our expertise to help clients navigate the complexities of this legislation, and to understand the nature and extent of any additional staffing costs they may incur as a result.

Our ACA Compliance Management

As the common law employer for our clients’ contingent employees, we are fully prepared to manage the following ACA requirements:

Eligibility Determination
The ACA requires that employers provide health insurance to employees who are full time or pay penalties.  The law defines full time as any employee working more than 130 hours per month, or 30 hours per week.  Although this may seem straightforward for most employers, to those that employ part time, seasonal and variable hour employees it is not. Special rules apply to employers of a nontraditional workforce, and the rules are complex and burdensome.  At the heart of this is an allowance for employers to apply a 6-12 month “look back” period for the first 6-12 months of a variable hour employee’s employment.  If, after the look back period has passed, the employee averaged less than 30 hours per week, the employee is not eligible for benefits.  However, if the employee averaged more than 30 hours per week, the employee is eligible and must be offered benefits for a stability period equal to the length of time of the look back period.   Employers must have systems that can calculate initial measurement periods, standard measurement periods, administrative periods, and stability periods, all while taking into consideration breaks in service and protected leaves of absence. Innovative Employee Solutions has invested in technology that will track these hours and ensure compliance with the law.
Employee Notifications
ACA requires employers to provide mandated employee notifications regarding their healthcare options.  Some examples of existing employee notifications include the health insurance exchange availability, summary of benefits and coverages and COBRA notifications. IES manages this process through regular employee communication in new hire communication and throughout the employee’s employment with IES.
Minimum Value Plan
Employers with 100+ employees must offer a minimum value plan, which is affordable to the employee, or face penalties of up to $3,600 per year per employee who receives a subsidy through the exchange.  IES currently offers Minimum Value Coverage to all full-time employees.
Benefits Administration
A benefits administration system can create a user-friendly benefits marketplace for employees to manage their enrollment and benefits plan options. IES offers our eligible employees access to an online portal where they may review and elect benefits as well as view a library of plan documents.  Employees can make informed benefits decisions through educational materials such as videos, plan comparisons and cost estimators.
COBRA Administration
The provisions of ACA do not relieve an employer from the responsibility of extending COBRA to terminated employees or those who no longer are eligible for coverage under the plan. IES administers all COBRA notifications, administration and billing for COBRA participants.
Annual ACA Reporting
Beginning January 1, 2015, employers must begin to collect information to facilitate the government’s administration of the employer mandate.  § 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code applies to employers that maintain insured health plans and requires those employers to file annual reports to the IRS and to employees regarding the coverage offered.
Innovative Employee Solutions is a member of the American Staffing Association. As such, and as set forward in the ASA Statement of Principles we are dedicated to the legal and ethical management of U.S. workers. We will therefore work diligently to help our clients implement legitimate workforce strategies and will not participate in practices that violate the law’s intent.

Videos

Do staffing firms plan to offer coverage to temporary employees under the ACA?

Who is a variable hour employee under the ACA?

The American Staffing Association and its members strongly support compliance with the Affordable Care Act and are committed to the legal and ethical management of our workforces pursuant to the law’s provisions. As a member of the American Staffing Association, Innovative Employee Solutions, Inc. is committed to compliance with the ACA, in letter and in spirit.