Technology and the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to make affordable health care options available to all Americans. For businesses, though, it has affected taxes, payroll, and more. Luckily, technology has been tremendously helpful for insurance providers and businesses alike. Here are a few tools you can take advantage of to facilitate reporting requirements and apply for coverage.
Health Insurance Marketplace
If your business has 50 or more eligible, full-time employees, you’re required to provide health insurance. Fortunately, the federal government is working to make this process as simple as possible. From its site, you can easily apply for 2015 coverage and check your company’s requirements. The other tools you can take advantage of include:
- Plan and price comparison. This service lets you compare plan premiums and start a marketplace application based on the number and age of employees you’ll need to provide coverage for. You can also find more information on options for businesses with employees in more than one state.
- Tax credit checker. Businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees earning less than $50K on average may qualify for health care tax credits. There are other stipulations, as well, but those businesses that qualify can claim a tax credit “worth up to 50% of your contribution toward your employee’s premium.”
- FTE calculator. Use this tool to see if your enterprise qualifies for the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplace. These coverage options are available for businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. To use this service, you’ll need a list of full- and part-time employees in addition to their weekly hours.
Human Resources, Payroll, and Reporting
With 2015’s ACA requirements switching from optional to mandatory, businesses will have a lot of new information to keep track of and report. Of course, it’s likely you’ve already got these numbers stored away somewhere. However, as you get ready to turn in your form 1095-C or 1094-F, keep these services in mind to help you streamline the process:
- Payroll solutions. Certain eligibility options – such as the SHOP marketplace – are based on employee payroll. Small businesses may get by with something like QuickBooks, but Certified Payroll Professionals (CPPs) are another resource to consider. These experts can help you specifically address benefit enrollment and healthcare reform reporting.
- Time and labor tracking. Who your full-time employees are and what hours everyone works must be reported. This data likely can be collected from the tools you likely already have in place to handle scheduling. There are also innovative timekeeping solutions you can find online, which can help you process this data and collect the info you’ll need to submit to the IRS.
With a looming 2015 deadline and potential tax penalties, it’s important for businesses to stay on top of their ACA reporting requirements and applications. For more information, visit HealthCare.gov, and work with payroll specialists to help your enterprise transition smoothly.
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