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PPACA: It’s Still the Law… For Now

January 16th, 2019

As we enter 2019, employers across the nation are preparing to report on the health coverage they provided in 2018. Once again, it’s time to talk ACA compliance.  Although there has been a great deal of public and political debate on the topic, and the most up to date ruling puts the law into question, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) remains the law of the land.  

On December 14th, 2018, Judge Reed O’Connor from the Federal District Court in Fort Worth, Texas issued a ruling marking the individual mandate of the PPACA as unconstitutional, thereby declaring the remaining provisions of the law as invalid.  You may review the filing here

However, the future of this litigation is still uncertain, and as a result, employers are not advised to alter their compliance measures at this time.   In addition, as penalty letters are being distributed by the IRS for previous years reporting and compliance, it is important to remain diligent in correctly producing and distributing required forms,  If you work in Payroll or HR, you’re likely already aware of the PPACA essentials and its requirements. Even still, it never hurts to run back through the basics—and take note of a few very important deadlines for 2019.

Affordable Care Act Compliance in 2019

Under the ACA’s Employer Shared Responsibility provisions, all Applicable Large Employers (ALE) must offer affordable healthcare coverage to full-time employees and their dependents—or suffer penalties. If your business has fewer than 50 full-time employees, you’ll want to look at compliance requirements for small businesses.

Fortunately, there aren’t any major changes in the paperwork or processes you’ll need to complete for your 2018 filing.

Form 1095-C

Form 1095-C provides key information employees require for individual tax returns. Employees will specify whether they and their dependents received essential coverage on this form. As an ALE, you’re required to distribute a Form 1095-C to each employee who works 130 or more hours per month—including those who opt out of the employer-sponsored health plan. You’re also required to prepare a Form 1095-C for part-time employees participating on the employer-sponsored health plan. See more on Form 1095-C here.

Form 1094-C

Form 1094-C allows ALEs to report essential information on whether they provided minimum essential health coverage. This is a transmittal form, meaning that it transmits information from forms 1095-C to the IRS. Together, the IRS uses 1094s and 1095s to determine the employer’s compliance and the employee’s eligibility for premium tax credit. You can find more specific information on form 1094-C here.

IRS E-File

Any ALE that files 250 or more information returns during the calendar year is required to file their returns electronically. Employers account for these information reporting requirements using 1094-Cs and 1095-Cs. You can find more information on how large to mid-sized businesses file electronically here.

ACA Compliance Deadlines for 2019

Delivering 1095 forms to Employees

Deadline – March 4th, 2019

Typically, employers are required to distribute 1095-Cs and 1095-Bs by January 31st of the new year. The IRS extended this deadline to March 4th this tax season

Electronic Filing form 1094 with the IRS

Deadline – April 1st, 2019

Employers with 250+ employees must file electronically.  This process is very challenging without the assistance of an ACA solution. Apprize offers full e-file capabilities to make this process easier.

Paper Filing form 1094 with the IRS

Deadline – February 28th, 2019

Only employers with under 250 employees can file on paper. If you take this approach, you’ll need to submit paper files to the IRS by February 28th. Use this page from the IRS to find the correct mailing address for your specific state.

Simplify ACA Compliance With Apprize

For over 15 years, Apprize has been simplifying the world of HR technology and benefits administration. We help employers and brokers alike streamline their Benefits Administration and HR compliance efforts through best-in-breed benefits administration software and support services.

If you’d like more assistance with ACA compliance, we would be glad to discuss how partnering with a Benefit technology partner like Apprize can provide confidence for your HR team.  At Apprize, we work with our clients to integrate best-in-breed ben admin platforms and services into your current HR processes that make ACA compliance efficient and accurate.. From Form 1095 creation and IRS e-filing to tracking tools for variable hour populations, our dedicated team of benefits experts are here to provide all the support your business needs to save time, money and stress.

Have other questions on what your business can do to stay compliant with ACA provisions, and improve your benefits administration and compliance procedures? Then be sure reach out to Apprize today.

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