Due to a series of landmark decisions by the Supreme Court in recent years, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) appears at least for now to be here to stay. While companies find the rules and regulations of the ACA complex and confusing, the question of compliance is a consistent and legitimate concern amongst business owners. The concern over compliance is so pervasive that many companies are turning to outsourcing their regulatory compliance to a viable, cost-effective solution that minimizes risk and ensures legal conformity.
Paperwork Deadlines to Keep In Mind
ACA reporting for companies with more than 100 employees is due January 1, 2016, and will require employee data for each month in 2015. That means they will have to move quickly in the coming months as the deadline approaches or face stiff financial penalties. Many of these larger companies will turn to PEOs or a dedicated ACA compliance vendor. Companies with 50 to 99 employee have until January 1, 2016, to begin complying, with reporting due the following year. Meanwhile, for firms with less than 50 workers, these deadlines associated with the coverage mandate don’t apply. They still must, however, comply other applicable aspects of the health care law.
Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), or firms employing 50 or more workers, must provide each full-time employee a 1095-C form by February 1, 2016.
ALEs must file form 1094-C and each 1095-C form provided to each employee to the IRS no later than February 29th, 2016 (or March 31st, 2016 if filed electronically).
PEO Broker recommends that your company file the appropriate forms electronically when applicable. It should be pointed out that the required IRS forms must contain employee data tracked month-to-month. To ensure the accuracy and minimize compliance-related reporting mistakes, consider outsourcing ACA compliance to a qualified HR provider with the help of PEO Broker.
5 Questions for Your Outsourcing Provider
- What aspects of your HR administration and management does your provider handle? For full-service PEOs, that might mean everything from payroll to administration. However, many companies choose to purchase HR outsourcing services a-la-carte. Be prepared to handle and send the necessary info (i.e. payroll, benefits, and employee data) yourself for services NOT outsourced. Understand what data your outsourcing provider will handle and what you must do yourself.
- Will they be able to assist you in the event of an audit? While rare, audits can be a huge hassle. Make sure your PEO or HR provider are tracking look-back, measurement, administrative and stability periods for your employees. How will you or your PEO be able to offer up proof that coverage was provided to your employees in the event of an audit?
- Will they notify you about critical compliance events? Does your provider notify you when an employee becomes eligible for coverage? Do they notify you when an employee does not complete the proper forms or does so incorrectly? Are they keeping track of your employee elections, plans being offered, and information on dependents? While these may seem like the kind of administrative tasks outsourcing is supposed to eliminate, maintaining a constructive dialog with your PEO about what’s happening on their end will ensure absolute compliance. It will also develop better-working relationships.
- Who’s doing the paperwork? The answer to this critical question will often depend on which PEO you have contracted and what level of services they have agreed to provide for you. Who will be filling out IRS 1095C for the employees, and the 1094C form for the company due January 1st?
- Who is liable for noncompliance? In the event of an audit that determines a failure to comply with ACA standards, who will be liable?
Need help with looming ACA compliance deadlines? Looking to outsource compliance to a specialized vendor?