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Small Business Corner: Affordable Care Act Reporting

By Matthew J. Cannova and Matt W. Stiles, Maynard, Cooper & Gale PC

 

In March 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued final rules to implement new reporting requirements for employers and insurers under the Internal Revenue Code, which were added by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These requirements were originally to take effect for 2014, with the first reports due in 2015; however both are delayed until 2015, with the first reports made in 2016.

 

Because the first ACA reporting returns will be based on information from 2015, employers should take steps now to prepare to satisfy these reporting obligations in a way that will keep the administrative and record-keeping burdens to a minimum.

 

Although the required filings gather similar information, they serve different purposes. The first applies to providers of “minimum essential coverage,” which generally includes insurance carriers and employers with self-insured health plans, regardless of size. It is used by the IRS to administer the individual mandate.

 

The second reporting requirement applies to “applicable large employers” that are subject to the ACA’s employer mandate. This means, in general, employers or a group of employers that are part of a “controlled group” with 50 or more full-time employees. Information gathered through this large employer reporting requirement will be used by the IRS as part of the premium tax credit determinations and related penalty assessments under the employer mandate.

 

The final rules are intended to help employers and insurers effectively comply with their responsibilities and to streamline reporting requirements for employers. For example, the final rules allow large employers that are subject to both reporting requirements to use a single, consolidated form to satisfy both reporting obligations.

 

The final rules also simplify the reporting process for employers making “qualifying offers” of coverage – an offer of minimum value coverage to an employee and an employee’s entire family at a cost that is no more than 9.5 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for employee only coverage.

 

Because a qualifying offer must include an offer of coverage to an employee’s spouse, this is likely an attempt by the department to keep employers from dropping spousal coverage, a potential cost-management strategy.

 

Employers can review the current draft reporting forms and instructions at www.irs.gov.

 

Matthew J. Cannova is an associate in Maynard, Cooper & Gale’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice.

Matthew W. Stiles is a Shareholder in Maynard Cooper’s Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice.

 

 

WHAT: Innovations in Healthcare Summit

WHEN: December 11

WHERE: The Mobile Marriott, 3101 Airport Blvd.

National experts in the area of healthcare reform will present options to assist business owners to make better decisions regarding healthcare options. If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects your company you will find new methods and cutting edge technology tools that will help you control costs and keep your business in compliance. Just some of the ideas that may benefit your company’s situation: private exchanges, telemedicine, captive insurance or utilizing onsite clinics.

 

There are two sessions to choose from (both include lunch).

 

Small- and Mid-size companies employing up to 100 employees

When: 8 – 11 a.m.

Topics include: ACA updates specific to small groups, private exchanges and telemedicine.

 

Large companies employing over 100 employees

When: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Topics include: private exchanges, captives, telemedicine and onsite clinics.

 

LUNCH

When: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Speaker: Matthew W. Stiles, Maynard Cooper & Gale P.C.

Topic: ACA in Full Swing: Preparing for 2015 and Beyond

 

COST: $50 member/$60 non-members and includes lunch

Registration required. Registrations not cancelled by Dec. 5 must be honored to cover the cost of lunch.

 

INFO: For more information and to register for these events go to www.mobilechamber.com or contact: Brenda Rembert at 251-431-8607 or brembert@mobilechamber.com.

 

Click here to read The Business View – Dec. 2014/Jan. 2015