How do employers comply with the new regulations from the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? If you have health insurance for your employees, you should already be in conversation with your insurance broker. It doesn’t matter whether you offer insurance or not, or how large or small your company is. There are important regulations that you need to be aware of.
Here are important dates to help you stay compliant as an employer:
October 1, 2013 – Employers are required to give notification of any health insurance changes to current employees in writing by Oct. 1, 2013. For new employees, they are required to receive a notice at the time of hiring beginning October 1, 2013. Model notices can be found on the United States Department of Labor website:
- Guidance on the Notice to Employees
- Notice for employers that offer employee health coverage
- Notice for employers that DO NOT offer employee health coverage
October 1, 2013 – Open enrollment begins for individuals for coverage beginning January 1, 2014. Individuals, families and small businesses can find and compare costs of health plans at Washington Healthplanfinder, formerly known as the Exchange Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). The site provides side-by-side comparisons of Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and access to the Small Business Premium Tax Credit. If you want this tax credit, be sure to look at options on the website and discuss with your accountant/tax advisor.
January 1, 2014 – The individual mandate goes into effect, so individuals should now be insured or be penalized (a fine of $95 for their first year or one percent of their income, whichever is greater). For example, someone making $40,000 a year would pay $400. The penalty increases each year.
January 1, 2015 – Employer mandate begins for companies with 50 or more employees. This is the provision that was delayed a year.
Events & Webinars to Keep You Informed
Many organizations, including GSI, are hosting forums, webinars and events to keep you informed as the new regulations unfold.
- Stay abreast of ongoing legislative and Exchange updates by signing up for email alerts.
- Sept. 26: Free webinar on what the ACA means for small businesses.
- October 22. Moloney+O’Neill and the Journal of Business are co-presenting Understanding the Pieces of Health Care Reform at the Davenport Hotel. Registration will be open soon.
- December 4. A Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield VP will discuss how their company is handling these changing regulations and how that will impact their clients at A Conversation with… Bill Akers.
- January, 2014: Stay tuned for more information on our health care forum, tentatively scheduled for a to-be-determined date in January.
- Presentation from WA Health Benefit Exchange at September 2013 Good Morning Greater Spokane
- Articles from the Small Business Administration on key provisions of the ACA.
- Washington Health Benefit Exchange
- Small Business Tax Credit Calculator
- Individual & Families Cost Estimate Calculator
- Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for Small Employers
- Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)
- U.S. Department of Labor