The New Year is here and more than half of employers with 1,000 or more employees are unprepared to comply with all Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulatory requirements, but studies show that companies are moving ahead with plans to deal with ongoing changes in the benefits landscape that the health care reform law has produced.
One thing companies are largely not doing: cutting payroll to dodge the ACA’s employer mandate, which requires large employers to provide health benefits or pay tax penalties.
The survey—titled “The Affordable Care Act and Employer Confidence: Navigating a Complex Compliance Challenge”—found that many large employers don’t feel fully prepared to manage the ACA’s complex reporting requirements.
Plan designs are changing: As a result of the ACA “Cadillac tax” on high-value health care plans that becomes effective in 2018, employers are shifting more costs to employees. Nearly two-thirds (63%) reported they plan to increase employees’ deductibles and co-pays or reduce employer contributions.
In addition, many employers are trying to reduce costs by emphasizing consumerism through plan design. More than half (57%) plan to offer a consumer driven health plan—typically high-deductible coverage combined with a tax-advantaged account employees can tap to pay deductibles.
Coverage expanding to part-timers: Most large employers (61%) reported they have already begun offering health benefits to part-time workers, above and beyond the ACA mandate to cover full-time employees. For many, it’s easier and cheaper to cover all employees than to handle the ACA’s complex full-time/part-time reporting requirements.
60% won’t cut hours: The study found that the majority of employers are not planning to change employee hours in response to ACA requirements.
If you are struggling to understand the implications and impacts the Affordable Care Act could have on your business, contact your Employment Consultant today to discuss the many options and help you find the best solution possible.
Source: The HR Specialist, Business Management Daily