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4 ACA Data Errors You Should Review Monthly for Accurate Reporting

It’s important to proactively review your ACA data monthly to catch any potential issues early. Many organizations wait until the end of the year to start looking at their ACA data, creating a long list of problems that need to be addressed in a compressed timeline. The following are different ACA data errors you or your vendor should be aware of throughout the year so that you’re prepared for a successful, and on time, IRS filing.

Ensure a complete data set

Start with a complete set of ACA data so you’re considering everything. This includes payroll, demographic, benefits, leave of absence and COBRA data. This data should be pulled and reviewed monthly so you can see a complete picture of your compliance and fix any anomalies. A few other considerations: 

  • Pull in data for all employees, not just those enrolled in benefits
  • Look for any missing data like payroll
  • Include complete historical data so you can use the lookback measurement

Monitor penalty risks

There are two main types of ACA IRS penalties. The 4980H(a) penalty comes into play when you don’t provide minimal essential coverage to 95% of your workforce. And the 4980H (b) penalty is when the insurance is not affordable. Catching issues early is important to minimize the risk of penalties. A few other considerations:

  • Look at employees coding Line 14-16 as IH-blank (no offer and no safe harbor) or IE-blank (unaffordable offer made)
  • Review the latest measurement results to make offers to newly eligible employees before the end of your administrative periods
  • Fix critical errors that will cause forms to not print or will reject with the IRS

Review new data errors

As new data is pulled each month, you’ll need to go back and review any changes. Best-in-class vendors, including the Benefitfocus ACA Compliance Solution, compare over 100 sets of data to make sure loaded data will support accurate calculations. Here are examples that are likely data errors that need to be addressed:

  • Recent hire dates before original hire dates
  • Benefits terminations that do not align with employment termination date
  • Home addresses not updating or are incomplete throughout the year

Review forms for accuracy

Once you arrive at the end of the year, another area you’ll want to review is the accuracy of your forms. Here are a few things you should look out for:

  • Critical errors that would blocking printing/filing
  • Bad SSNs or SSNs that need to be updated 
  • Missing minimum plan costs for certain months or the entire year
  • Updated 1094-C EIN name, address or contact information

Need assistance?

Ensuring that all data is aggregated and accurate can be challenging and time-consuming. That’s where our robust software and full-service support come in. We help organizations remain compliant with the ACA by aggregating ACA data, identifying potential ACA data errors monthly and providing expert guidance throughout the year. To learn more, contact us.