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Affordable Care Act Questions Answered as Deadlines Loom

January 1st, 2015 marks the day that the Affordable Care Act becomes mandatory for employers with 100 full-time plus employees to offer affordable healthcare insurance. Smaller employers (50 – 99 employees) have an additional year to gain compliance.

Many business owners and managers worry about the cost of the additional ACA burden to their budgets, some have even contemplated reducing their employees to delay the added expense and delay ACA compliance concerns. Penalties will ensue if a company within the criteria set forth fails to comply.

By reducing headcounts however, you may be putting your business in jeopardy of its full growth potential. Here are some recommendations to avoid hurting your company’s bottom line and future growth:

1. Budget now

It is true that there have been multiple changes in the ACA law and there continue to be concerns about future changes, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan. The cost of an employee’s healthcare premium cannot exceed 9.5 percent of a full-time employee’s salary and at least 70 percent of a business’s employees must be offered an affordable insurance option. Estimate to the best of your abilities a line item cost to include in your 2015 budget. It is better to have a large number than no plan.

2. Reduce employees?

Many businesses close to the 100 employee headcount, may be thinking about reducing employees to delay compliance for another year. An alternative strategy is to use Essential Personnel and CECOR Staffing services to allow your company to expand by growing your employees while they receive full benefits through our agencies.

3. 2015 IRS mandates

IRS mandates will begin in 2015. At this time employers will be required to file an annual return that documents the healthcare benefits provided to each employee. You may also be required to include the value of any healthcare insurance coverage on each employee’s W-2 form. While this is an additional administrative burden that will come with additional costs from staffing, Essential Personnel and CECOR Staffing can help. We can lessen your burden and take care of your IRS mandates for you.

4. Implement a wellness program

As healthcare costs rise, many companies are finding that wellness program implementations are a benefit to their bottom line as well as a benefit to their company. Employees who participate in wellness programs are encouraged to engage in healthy behaviors. Implementing programs such as smoking cessation, activity and regular wellness visits can minimize claims, and as a result keep premiums low.

With the deadlines rapidly approaching, businesses continue to feel pressure to make decisions that will best meet their wellness, financial and compliance goals. If you are struggling to make decisions and would like to discuss how Essential Personnel and CECOR Staffing can help your company, contact your consultant today.