Adjustments to the Affordable Care Act offer some relief for small employer compliance challenges. However, the proposed solutions may create more confusion.
No matter what lies on the horizon for the ACA, an industry expert said, employers and their advisors should not delay in preparing to comply with the law as it already exists.
A lack of resources is said to be causing some small to mid-size employers to lag behind in their understanding of ACA Compliance issues. The government is attempting to make some tweaks to the law to make it more feasible for small to mid-size employees.
For instance, under the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act employers can exclude full-time employees who served in the U.S. military and who currently receive veterans’ health insurance from the ACA’s 50-or-more full-time employee threshold count. The veterans’ coverage must either be through Tricare or through the Veterans Affairs Department.
The Protective Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (PACE) also offers some relief by redefining a small group employer from 1 to 50 employees to 1 to 10 employees. The PACE bill maintains the current definition of a small group market and gives states the flexibility to expand the group size.
The Cadillac Tax is also a concern for some employers. A lack of guidance, according to an industry expert, leaves employers and advisers wondering how to avoid the excise tax. The IRS has released proposals that offer some insight into Cadillac tax compliance.
Other concerns for employers and the ACA include a lack of guidance on nondiscrimination, automatic enrollment, quality of care reporting or a new SBC template. Employers have heard little in the way of gudiance from Washington on how to address these issues.