Affordable Care Act Compliance Issues to Watch in 2018

Regardless of whether the Republican-controlled House and Senate repeals, replaces or alters the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are a number of rules and regulations employers must comply with in 2018 and 2019 if they offer group health benefits to employees. To make sure you’re not caught unaware, review and implement this checklist of obligations and deadlines:

FORM 1095-C
Submit to the IRS by Feb. 28 (paper) or April 2 (electronically)

Hopefully you have already completed and provided copies of Form 1095-C to each of your employees, which was due on Jan. 31. Employees need the form so they can fill out Line 61 of their individual tax returns to demonstrate that they and family members had the required minimum essential health care coverage. The IRS issued Notice 2018-06 on Dec. 22, 2017, which extended by 30 days the 2018 due date for distributing 2017 health coverage information forms 1095-C or 1095-B to employees, regarding the health care coverage offered to them. The new deadline for supplying these forms to employees is March 2, 2018. This30-day extension is automatic. Employers and providers don’t have to request it. As the employer, you also must file either paper copy of Form 1095-C with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or submit an electronic form. You must report whether the group health benefit plan you offered met the ACA’s Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) requirements. Plus, you should include the employee’s ID number and Social Security numbers of the employee and dependents (but not the employee’s spouse).

FORM 1094-C
Submit to the IRS by Feb. 28 (paper) or April 2 (electronically)

The Employer Shared Responsibility mandate requires Applicable Large Employers– those who have 50 or more full-time equivalent employees — to provide health benefit coverage that is affordable and meets minimum value standards. Employers who do not do this may owe a penalty for noncompliance. The definition of minimum value remains the same as 2017 and describes a plan that pays at least 60 percent of the costs and includes substantial coverage of physician and inpatient hospital services. The affordability requirement, however, has changed. An employer cannot charge a full-time employee more than 9.56 percent of household income, down slightly from 9.69 percent in 2017.Not only must you meet these standards, but you also must document the plans you offer and keep track of employees who waived coverage. Submitting Form 1094-C demonstrates that you met the requirements. Small employers (less than 50 FTEs) do not need to fill out these forms.

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