The last few years have put employers in the position of becoming compliance officers. The Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Internal Revenue Service have actively been pursuing small- and mid-size businesses about various issues, from PPACA reporting to wage and hour miscalculations.
It is becoming a full-time job for manager HR representatives to keep up with the requirements of a compliant business.
The average employer cannot tell you what the affordability test is compared to the value test, but they know that it is now a requirement. Most important is the employer's concern for their employees to have the best health insurance available for the least expensive price. The employees are now looking for jobs that will provide them with health insurance in order to not be penalized at tax filing time. Employers are trying to understand what exactly they should be providing under health care reform in order to not pay additional fines for doing it incorrectly.
IRS fines are increasing in 2016 for employees to either $695 or 2.5 percent of adjusted family income per uninsured adult, whichever is greater. Employers will have to pay $2,160 per employee (after the first 30) if not providing health insurance or for an incorrect plan, and $3,240 for each employee getting a subsidy through the marketplace. Penalties for not filing certain documents in time, such as form 5500 or form 1094C, can add up to $1,100 per late day.
Insurance agents are becoming consultants in a very different world than we first began. Employers are asking accounting and legal questions which are requiring research and partnerships with other professionals.
Employers want to know the difference now in using a professional employer organization (PEO) versus outsourcing their HR and payroll departments. If the employer decides to do it themselves, questions they ask are:
How long do I keep the necessary paperwork?
Should I use the qualifying offer method or the 98 percent offer method?
Which Safe Harbor would be best for my situation?
Insurance consultants will be the ones answering these questions with their employers as well as reviewing the documents and procedures.
Education and wisdom are the most important values for an insurance consultant’s job security. Just about the time you learn it, it will change.