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LAS VEGAS—The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been in effect for about
five years now, and it’s here to stay. “There’s not an expectation of
significant changes to the law,” said David Lindgren, compliance officer
at Flexible Benefit Services Corp., during a June 30, 2015, concurrent
session at the Society for Human Resource Management 2015 Annual
Conference & Exposition. That will be the case as long as Barack
Obama is president and Republicans control Congress, Lindgren said. And
as time passes, it becomes more and more difficult to repeal an
established law, he noted, adding, “Employers should remain under the
Pieces of the law will continue to be rolled out through 2020, so
there still are several strategic and tactical issues for employers to
consider, Lindgren said. These include coping with the employer mandate,
reporting requirements and upcoming “Cadillac tax.”
The employer mandate requires large employers to offer minimum
essential coverage to full-time employees or risk penalties. It became
effective in 2015 for employers with 100 or more employees. Beginning in
2016, employers with 50 or more employees will have to comply with the
mandate. Lindgren identified the following strategic questions for
employers regarding the employer mandate:
Beginning in 2016, employers will face new reporting requirements
under the ACA and be penalized if they fail to comply. Two types of
reporting will be required—Section 6055 reporting and Section 6056
reporting. The reports will contain coverage information from 2015. Any
employer (small or large) that offers employee coverage will be required
to report under Section 6055 about who is covered under the plan. Large
employers, including those that don’t offer coverage, will be required
to report under Section 6056 about who was offered coverage and other
information about coverage and costs. Lindgren said employers should
consider the following questions regarding the upcoming reporting
Starting in 2018, employers that provide high-cost health plans will
be subject to the ACA’s Cadillac tax—a 40 percent excise tax on health
coverage benefits exceeding an estimated $10,200 for single coverage and
an estimated $27,500 for family coverage. Lindgren said strategic
questions employers should consider relating to the Cadillac tax
John Scorza is associate editor of HR Magazine.
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