On July 2, 2013, the Treasury Department announced that it is delaying the employer and insurer reporting obligations under the ACA until 2015. This reporting delay effectively shields employers from the risk of any mandate-related penalties, at least for 2014. All over the country, businesses have breathed a sigh of relief and put their ACA compliance initiatives on the back burner.
But do you really know what changed on July 2?
What you do not know could hurt you.
As an employer, you want to make financially sound decisions that provide for your core employees while implementing new policies and procedures that ensure compliance with all the ACA’s mandates – not just the act’s reporting obligations. With knowledgeable guidance, you can protect your firm.
Where do you start?
Procedures still must be implemented, and Flexicrew can help you implement these procedures in a cost-effective manner. We know that every business is unique; simply providing an out-of-the-box solution will not work, especially when dealing with complicated legislation.
Following, you will find information on the Affordable Care Act, providing you with both the answers to your questions as well as options for the road ahead. If you are concerned about the impact that the Affordable Care Act will have on your business, we are here to help.
Give Flexicrew a call today at 866.720.3539 We understand the ACA, and our flexible workforce model can help you reduce compliance costs while reaping the benefits of a flexible workforce strategy. We can help you keep focused on growing your business – not on the compliance mandates of the ACA.
What You Do Not Know About the Health Care Reform Postponement Could Hurt You.
Very little of the ACA has actually changed, and time is still running out. Employers:
- Are still required to provide information to employees on their health care options before October 1, 2013
- Will not be notified which employees qualified for insurance exchange subsidies in 2014
- Can be open to audits in 2015, if they enact a healthcare plan to pull already subsidized employees off of an exchange.
As January 1, 2014 approaches, the questions wrapped about ACA compliance become more confusing and urgent. Employees will be eligible for health insurance exchange coverage, and the government will accept their own representations about their income status and the availability of affordable and comprehensive coverage.
This can expose you to governmental audits and other forms of scrutiny. In order to fully protect yourself, you still need to determine
- Whether you are a large employer
- Whether you should “pay” or “play”
- A strategy to fully comply with the employer mandate section of the ACA
Very little has changed.
The implications of being a “large employer”
“Large employers” must comply with the ACA’s employer mandate. That has not changed with the postponement. You still have to decide to either offer coverage to your full-time employees or pay penalties. If you choose to:
- Pay, you opt not to provide health care coverage and instead will pay an annual, nondeductible penalty of $2,000 per full-time employee (less the first 30 employees).
- Play, you opt to provide comprehensive (i.e. minimum essential coverage) and affordable (i.e. meets the “minimum value” standard) coverage within 90 days of a hire date. If the provided insurance is not considered comprehensive and affordable, you must pay a penalty of $3,000/ employee who leaves your program and receives subsidized coverage from a health insurance exchange.
Negative consequences of “paying”…
The decision to simply “pay” the penalty is tempting, but extremely costly. In most cases, there are other consequences to this decision, including:
- Employer brand erosion – there will be the perception that you are reversing the act’s intent
- Competitive recruiting disadvantage – “playing” competitors may have an easier time recruiting top talent
- Increased tax burden – the $2,000 penalty is nondeductible; its financial impact will be greater than its face value.
Reducing costs if “playing” or if not quite yet a “large” employer…
If you are considered a “large” employer (or are on the cusp of being a “large” employer), there are steps you can take to reduce costs and headcount. You can:
- Add more part-time and variable-hour employees and limit their weekly hours
- Bring on and manage more freelancers and independent contractors
- Leverage the staffing services of Flexicrew
Add more part-time employees and limit their hours
Hiring more part-time and variable-hour employees and then limiting the number of hours they work may seem like a perfect option. However, if done:
- Service levels and productivity could suffer
- Compliance management (requiring continuous tracking, documentation and reporting) for these workers’ hours will be costly and time consuming
- Qualified talent that is willing to work less than full-time may be difficult to locate
Bring on and manage freelancers
Leveraging freelancers and independent contractors may also seem like the perfect solution; however:
- Misclassification will remain an issue, with the IRS aggressively investigating companies for improperly classifying both groups of workers.
- Freelancers are best suited for well-defined projects where they control when, where and how the work is done. Not every task is suited for this.
Offering Simple Solutions for the Affordable Care Act
January 1, 2014 is just around the corner; you can’t wait another minute. The recent postponement in employer mandate reporting and penalties will have no effect on other ACA provisions or their effective dates.
In order to fully protect yourself, you still need to track your full-time, part-time and variable-hour employees. This continuous monitoring takes understanding and it takes time – time you do not have. Flexicrew has the solution. Leveraging our temporary workforce solutions is the best way to reduce both expense and risk of ACA.
We are already subject to ACA’s requirements – having previously determined our “large employer” status. Having a large number of variable-hour employees, we have cost-effectively set up the processes for the continuous tracking and documentation that is required for full compliance.
If you currently manage a population of part-time and variable-hour workers, tracking, documenting and reporting their hours will be daunting. This responsibility can be alleviated by simply leveraging the efficiencies built into Flexicrew’s temporary workforce solutions.
In addition, you can be assured we will offer the temporary employees who are servicing your business comprehensive and affordable health care coverage – made possible by the increased bargaining power that comes with our large workforce.
Don’t waste more time, contact Flexicrew today.