As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) becomes the new normal in healthcare, many employers are forgetting about the flood of penalties that may come their way over the next few years if they fall short on ACA compliance. And even those who are aware of the compliance issues they face may not be doing enough.
Some employers, understanding that ACA compliance is here to stay, are taking advantage of compliance firms and they are wise to do so. However, some ACA compliance solutions merely track and report employee health plan claims – firms that fail to handle exchange appeals, provide audit representation or deliver any of the other important services that are now necessary in the post-ACA era. Tracking and reporting are good, but those services should be the tip of the iceberg. They help employers avoid tax penalties, sure – but there’s a lot more to ACA compliance than that.
To start, ACA compliance requires accuracy. Employers, ask yourself: Does your ACA compliance solution address the following problems?
- Controlled group/common ownership
- High variable hour workforce
- Multiple payroll systems with varying data points
If they don’t, the reality is that the work they are doing on your behalf may not be accurate – and that means you may not be avoiding penalties at all. The fact is, the IRS is budgeted to hire almost 500 new full-time employees in 2016 to fulfill the “new audit requirements related to the shared employer responsibility payment.” In other words, they will be auditing companies and are already making plans to do so. Perhaps more alarmingly, the Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal government will generate $9 billion in ACA compliance penalties from employers alone in 2016.
So when you are searching for an ACA compliance solution, make sure you look beyond the slick website and promises of monthly reports. You need a compliance firm that has experience in all aspects of employer health plan maintenance, both before and after the ACA. Compliance requires knowledge, and GM&A has it. To learn more, contact us today!