When President Obama approved the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) in 2010, debate spread like wildfire throughout the country. This difference of opinions has grown for the past five years as the distinctive aspects of the law continue to be implemented.
One of the biggest points of contention is the ACA requirement for small businesses to provide their employees with a qualified level of insurance coverage. This requirement is based on the number of full-time equivalent employees, commonly referred to as a company’s FTE.
According to a report done by the Commonwealth Fund in 2006, the nation’s smallest companies pay an average of 18 percent more in health insurance premiums for the same benefits than those of the largest firms. In the meantime, the cost of providing health insurance to small business employees had been rising higher than inflation rates prior to the ACA.
A company’s FTEs vary depending on the overall size of the business. What this means for business owners is that there is now the challenge of figuring out the exact amount owed to their employees.
Under the law, FTEs are those who work 30 hours or more per week. However, part-time employee hours are also part of the calculation as a fraction and are included in the overall total.
It is important to remember that this law clearly states that if employers do not cover their workers, they are subject to fines. That’s why it is so important to keep up to date with every requirement, especially since the employer mandate changes with time.
Another important aspect of Obamacare is the tax credits that are now available to businesses. Tax credits are retroactive since 2010, meaning that you can still claim your health insurance tax credit for any year since 2010—all you need to do is file Form 8941.
Take away the stress and guesswork
Meeting the eligibility requirements of the ACA can be a daunting task. Heartland can help you understand the complexities, avoid noncompliance fines and reduce administrative work.
With Heartland’s full support, data used to track your company’s FTE is assessed by our dedicated payroll representatives, who can then easily calculate the correct category for your business.
Heartland is also there to offer guidance on current Obamacare requirements, and provide training videos that review ACA details as well as documents, updates and FAQs covering all areas of health care reform. In addition, we offer a communication portal to post information about open enrollment and insurance coverage specific to your business.
Learn more about Heartland’s payroll services here.