As you’re getting ready to wrap up the year, you should know about some changes involving the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
While certain ACA provisions are finally kicking in, others have recently been eliminated.
Here are the latest requirements:
1. No need to auto enroll
New legislation that just raised the nation’s debt ceiling also included updates to the ACA.
Originally, employers were supposed to automatically enroll employees in their health plans. But without Dept. of Labor regs, employers have been in a holding pattern. Now the automatic enrollment requirement is gone, thanks to HR 1314.
2. Start reporting
Transition relief for reporting isn’t being extended, so Forms 1095-C will be due for the first time in 2016. Note: The filing requirements are the same as those for Forms W-2.
The IRS will use Forms 1095-C to determine if an employee who enrolls in the Health Insurance Marketplace is eligible for the premium tax credit.
3. Watch for notices
Starting in the spring of 2016, be on the lookout for notices telling you certain employees are eligible for the advance premium tax credit.
The notices will come from the Health Insurance Marketplace. As for the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, it’ll send notices after open enrollment ends, which is on Jan. 31, 2016.
4. Brace yourself for penalties
In 2016, certain transition relief for penalties will be gone.
For example, now if your company offers minimum essential coverage to at least 70% of full-time employees, and their dependents, you can avoid penalties. Next year, the threshold will go up to 95%.
Then an employer will need to offer affordable and adequate coverage to 95% of full-time employees – or face penalties if at least one employee receives the premium tax credit.
Be aware: If any employees not in the 95% receive the premium tax credit, there’s also a penalty for that.