According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 35 million Americans have health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. With the number of individuals and amount of data involved, working to ensure ACA compliance can be a daunting task for any organization across industries. That’s why the majority of employers rely on service providers to support the fulfillment of ACA statements to their employees each year.
Read on to learn more about ACA reporting and compliance, and how leveraging the analytics capabilities of ACA software can help your organization streamline and elevate your filing process.
What is ACA Reporting and Compliance?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was created to encourage employers to provide affordable, timely and suitable health benefits to eligible employees. Bringing this from design to implementation requires adequate ACA reporting and compliance from organizations. Ultimately, ACA reporting aims to ensure that employers — along with health insurance providers — report health coverage information to the IRS and provide statements to employees annually.
The importance of ACA compliance
The end goal of ACA reporting is to confirm employers are offering affordable health insurance that provides minimum essential coverage (MEC) and minimum value to at least 95% of full-time employees. It’s important to note organizations that don’t fulfill these requirements are subject to compliance penalties imposed by the IRS. Employers under ACA regulations must also provide employees with the following information:
- Notice of coverage and available benefits.
- Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, and in some cases 1095-B forms.
- Summary of benefits and coverage.
A few frequently asked questions to consider:
- Is ACA reporting still required? While ACA compliance requirements depend on employer size and the type of insurance you maintain, ACA reporting is still required.
- Who is ACA reporting relevant to? Typically, reporting requirements apply for all employers with 50 or more full-time employees, self-insured employers, regardless of size and health insurance providers.
- Which states have ACA regulations? States that require state-level ACA reporting include California (CA), the District of Columbia (DC), New Jersey (NJ), Rhode Island (RI), Massachusetts (MA) and Vermont (VT).
- How are ACA statements delivered? Employees can opt-in to receive electronic ACA statements, otherwise, employees should receive a printed ACA statement annually, in most cases.
How can large employers prepare for ACA reporting?
For organizations required to comply with ACA compliance and state-level requirements, there are a few steps that can make the process of ACA filing significantly easier. These include:
- Paying close attention to important dates: Staying aware of your timeline is integral. This includes knowing when to deliver 1095-B and 1095-C forms to employees and when to file with the IRS.
- Verifying data is accurate and reviewing ACA compliance: Consistently checking your ACA data throughout the year is critical to ensure the information is both accurate and complete.
- Send 1095-B and 1095-C forms to employees: It’s important to keep up with deadlines for ACA forms — which are currently by March 2. For organizations that don’t utilize digital forms or automated reporting processes, it will also be necessary to discuss key printing timelines with vendors (and consider proper data security measures).
- Send ACA files to the IRS: For a successful submission, it’s essential to verify all your information is correct and eliminate critical errors before submitting ACA filing to the IRS. As more organizations take advantage of ACA software, it’s important to note the IRS paper filing timeline is earlier than electronic filing.
- Send state individual mandate files: For employers that need to consider state-level ACA reporting requirements, it’s crucial to understand your specific responsibilities and associated deadlines for a seamless process.
Streamlining Your Compliance Processes With ACA Reporting Software
Ensuring compliance can be a meticulous process, and the risks of non-compliance are costly. To mitigate these challenges effectively, organizations can leverage ACA reporting software to facilitate the overall process and guarantee compliance with ease. These solutions help organizations manage ACA reporting efficiently — ensuring benefits and ACA proceedings are streamlined and compliant.
Top-tier ACA compliance software will include a thoughtful combination of key features including:
- Robust real-time reporting tools.
- Compliance support teams.
- Auto-generation of forms 1095-B and 1095-C.
- Automatic filing with IRS.
Can you integrate ACA reporting into your HR systems?
With dependable partners like Experian Employer Services, integrating ACA reporting into your human resource (HR) systems is not only possible, but simple. CIC Plus offers an integration with Workday for print ACA reporting — to help your organization streamline the process.
The Benefits of Improved ACA Compliance for Your Business
The valuable features of ACA reporting software can quickly elevate your filing process. As a result, companies can expect to see a host of advantages. The core benefits offered by ACA reporting software include:
- Ensuring up-to-date forms and compliance: Large amounts of data and the possibility of changes in ACA requirements can create compliance challenges. Cloud-based software provides up-to-date information, ensures compliance and adjusts when needed for a more seamless system.
- Saving your organization time and money: Reporting software saves organizations a significant amount of time by reducing the need for meticulous manual labor. These tools ultimately help save time, eliminate human error and guarantee adherence to compliance standards — saving your company money in the long run.
Elevate Your ACA Compliance With Top of the Line Solutions
If your organization has been in pursuit of systems to elevate your ACA reporting and compliance, you can enjoy end-to-end ACA reporting with solutions from Experian Employer Services. Partnering with us can help your company experience an automated and simplified process that ultimately saves valuable time, ensures compliance and simplifies state ACA reporting.
Spend less time printing and mailing forms, fielding employee questions and making corrections — so you can focus on your core HR responsibilities. Read our blog for more information on compliance in the workplace or schedule a demo with CIC Plus to get started.