Now that the wait is over in regards to the Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers need to act.
Here’s a brief compliance checklist from Tony Tilelli, an employee benefits specialist with Sihle Insurance Group, located in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Though it’s by no means everything, Tilelli says, it’s a start.
• Be aware that states currently making no attempt to implement the state exchange will get a plan administered by the federal government.
• Businesses with 50 or more employees cannot fall into the trap of thinking that on Dec. 31, 2013, they can just reduce their employee roster to 49 FTE (full time equivalent). The IRS will be watching.
• Review your health plan documents. You should have a binder containing all of the information you need to legally administer your health benefits plan, and you should thoroughly review that data to guide you in the steps you now need to take.
• Be ready for health plan audits. They will become more popular under the new law.
• Beginning in 2013, depending on the size of your group, you will be required to report the value of your employee's health plan premium on their W2s.
• You must have your benefits summaries in all of the languages spoken by your employees. This means that if you have employees whose first language is not English, you need to provide a benefit summary in their primary language.
• Be careful of what is called work force realignment. In the past, employers have attempted to skirt compliance by reducing the hours of some illness-prone employees to part-time status. Downsizing to avoid providing benefits is a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
• Review the cost of your health plan. Make sure you have a health plan that does not cost your employee more than 9.5 percent of his or her income.
• Attend a more in depth seminar for further assistance.