Earlier this year, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was introduced with mixed reviews. As Congress took the bill through its first steps in the legislative journey, many business owners and individuals wondered what the legislation would mean for them, until the impending vote in the U.S. House of Representatives was abruptly halted and the bill was pulled due to a lack of the necessary votes to pass.
While the GOP may begin to work on an alternate proposal to repeal and replace the ACA and all legislators are being encouraged to work together to improve the potential replacement legislation, House Speaker Paul Ryan has stated the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will remain the law of the land for the foreseeable future.
That said, it is important that Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) understand their regulatory obligations under the ACA. Here are a few ACA requirements to keep in mind moving forward:
- ALEs (generally defined as companies with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees) must offer adequate and affordable health insurance coverage to full-time employees and their dependents. If even one full-time employee receives a premium tax credit to purchase coverage through a marketplace, the company risks being charged a penalty.
- ALEs must continue to file and furnish timely and accurate annual information returns relating to the health insurance that the employer offers to its full-time employees.
- Employers filing 250 or more Forms W-2 must report the cost of certain employer-sponsored health benefits on the forms.
- Employers are required to provide written notice to all employees about health coverage options, including information about the existence of a health insurance marketplace and a description of services provided by the marketplace.
Health care policy will undoubtedly remain a hot topic in the months and potentially years to come, but until a replacement bill is passed, the requirements of the ACA still apply. Paychex will be there to keep you informed of regulations that impact you, your firm, and your clients along the way.
Mike Trabold is director of compliance risk for Paychex, Inc. Paychex is a leading provider of human capital management solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses.