The onset of the assorted provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act means there are a number of complex requirements with which employers must comply. What's more, additional stipulations will be coming down the pipe in the next couple of years, and employers should get their house in order ahead of time to be as prepared as possible when the new legislation takes effect.
Achieving and maintaining compliance with ACA regulations might seem like a tall order, but provided the human resources department puts the correct benefits management software in place, staying on the right side of the law doesn't have to be a struggle for companies.
"Benefit administration systems are really key to ACA compliance today," said Jamie Hawkins, CEO of Benefit Technology Resources LLC, in a video published by Benefits News. "How a benefit administration system can help an employer first and foremost would be ACA compliance, but there's also the reduced administrative burden on HR by leveraging a platform. They'll also see streamlining through the bill reconciliation and then the reduction of multiple data entry points. … It's really important that these employers act now because these reports require that they start tracking this information in January of 2015."
There are multiple HR software options available, so Hawkins urged firms to assess their requirements and make choices regarding which benefit administration systems to utilize from there.
Ring in the New Year - and the new ACA requirements
As of Jan. 1, 2015, applicable large employers are required to extend coverage to all full-time employees (FTEs) on their payrolls, as well as their dependents. Failure to do so could result in financial penalties.
NFP Benefits Partners explained that for the purposes of the ACA requirements, FTEs are considered to be members of staff who work at least 30 hours a week or 130 hours a month. Variable hour and seasonal employees present some confusion in this regard. Specifically, the former's irregular schedules prevent firms from knowing whether they'll work enough to meet FTE criteria, while the latter only work at certain times of the year.
Benefitfocus offers a variety of products and services to help you maintain compliance with the ACA, including tools for look-back calculations related to variable hour employees. Check out the ACA Management solutions offered through our platform by visiting our software intgerations.