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03/21/2014

ACA Deadlines for Businesses

Affordable care act  on flagAffordable Care Act (ACA) deadlines applying to businesses have been changed.  Businesses are not yet officially required to offer employee coverage, but if large businesses with more than 50 full-time employees don’t provide qualified coverage, they may have to make what’s called an Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (ESRP) in 2015 and 2016.

The ESRP applies differently depending upon the size of the large business and is required at different times for different types of businesses. Many lawmakers backed by business trade associations continue seeking compliance date extensions.

The Treasury Department is now providing more clarification of ACA business rules affecting businesses with 50 or more employees as well as guidance if your business utilizes volunteers, students or seasonal employees.  Generally, businesses with between 50 and 100 full-time employees have until 2016 to provide insurance or pay the ESRP. 

Businesses with 100 or more full-time workers must offer affordable health coverage and provide what is called a minimum value to at least 95% of its full-time employees and their dependents by 2015 or pay the ESRP.

The IRS reports the ESRP is “equal to the number of full-time employees the employer employed for the year (minus up to 30) multiplied by $2,000, as long as at least one full-time employee receives the premium tax credit.”

If you are a business owner with fewer than 50 full-time employees, you are not required to pay the ESRP, but you are required to provide your employees a notice of the available online marketplace. You are also urged to shop for employee insurance coverage through the ACA Marketplace featuring small business insurance plans.

An extensive list of questions and answers has been posted to explain the ESRP as business associations plead for a simplified reporting method.  

All of this while debate continues on whether the Online Marketplace will be working and reliable in time for large businesses to purchase and provide qualified health insurance plans that comply with the ACA deadlines.

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