For most employers, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought increased healthcare costs and administrative time. One way employers are dealing with ACA compliance is with technology. In fact, the market of ACA compliance software is growing rapidly. From startups to payroll companies to veteran health insurance companies, there are a variety of companies offering compliance technology solutions to help employers manage compliance efficiently and accurately. Here’s a look at three areas where ACA compliance technology aims to help.
ACA Employer Mandate Management
One primary challenge ACA compliance technology can address is compliance with the ACA’s Employer Mandate - the provision that requires employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to either offer affordable health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty.
This provision can be complicated to measure and track; especially for employers with a mix of part-time, full-time, and seasonal employees.
Additionally, the provision has had its share of delays and changes, making the rules and guidelines complex to understand.
In my research, I found compliance software offering some or all of the following features to help manage the Employer Mandate provision:
- Tracking and categorizing service hours
- Identifying the number of full-time employees
- Tracking and managing benefits offered
- Managing eligibility periods
- Budgeting and cost-analysis tools
Annual Healthcare Reporting
As of 2016, applicable large employers are required to complete new annual healthcare reporting via Form 1094 and 1095.
What makes the healthcare reporting challenging for many employers, is the need to pull information from multiple, sometimes unconnected HR systems.
To help ease the administrative pain, ACA compliance software is available to accurately track, integrate, and report personnel and benefit information required for the new healthcare reporting.
Exchange Notice Management
The third main compliance issue technology can help with is exchange notice management. Under the ACA, employers are required to notify employees of available healthcare options on the Exchanges. The notices vary based on the type of benefits the company offers, and technology platforms can help generate and distribute the correct notices.
As employers respond to the new ACA administrative requirements, compliance technology offers a way to track, report, and manage various requirements. But before you go and purchase a new platform or service, here’s a tip to consider - check with your current benefits or payroll provider. Many HR and benefits vendors are beginning to build in ACA compliance to their package of services and may offer tools that integrate well into your current HR processes.
What are your tips or experiences using ACA compliance technologies? Share your experiences, or ask a question, below.