It’s Go Time: The Employer Mandate is Here
It’s Go Time: The Employer Mandate is Here

It’s Go Time: The Employer Mandate is Here

After controversy, debate, and delays, the Employer Mandate has arrived. This provision of the Affordable Care Act (also known as the “Play or Pay” provision) requires all employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to offer a certain level of health insurance coverage at an affordable rate to all full-time employees or face a possible penalty.

Large employers (those with 100 or more full-time equivalent employees) that do not comply with the Employer Mandate may begin incurring penalties in each month of the 2015 tax year. Mid-sized employers (those with 50-99 full-time equivalent employees) enjoy an additional year of reprieve (to 2016) as long as the organization did not reduce its workers’ hours/workforce to get below the 99 employee threshold without a bona fide reason or materially reduce its health care plan as it existed on February 9, 2014. Employer Mandate penalties are incurred on a monthly basis, but paid annually.

It’s important to note that the IRS will only apply Employer Mandate penalties to an organization if the employer is subject to the Employer Mandate, fails to comply with the Mandate, and has at least one full-time employee shop in the Marketplace and receive a federal premium subsidy. Employers have no control regarding whether a full-time employee opts to shop in the Marketplace, so the only fool-proof way to avoid penalties is to follow these three steps:

# Offer a health insurance plan that meets the minimal essential coverage requirements;
# Offer at least one such plan at an “affordable rate”; and
# Offer at least one such plan to all full-time employees regularly working 30 or more hours per week and their dependent children.

If you follow these three steps, your organization should be immunized from any type of Employer Mandate Penalties, regardless of which employees opt to shop in the Marketplace or what types of premium subsidies they receive.

With the implementation of the Employer Mandate *comes new IRS reporting requirements. Employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must begin Section 6056 (Employer Mandate) reporting for the 2015 tax year. These forms will be filed with the IRS and provided to employees in early 2016. Although the actual reporting will not be performed until early 2016, some of the data included in the reporting must be classified by month. So now is the time to begin tracking this data.

Anxiety is understandably high in regard to both the Employer Mandate and the new IRS reporting requirements associated with the Mandate. The penalties have the potential to be substantial for some employers, and the regulations are somewhat tedious and technical. Some anxiety can be mitigated by partnering with Paycor and our ACA Reporting Software and taking advantage of our Time and Attendance, Reporting and Analytics and HR Support Center applications to track information, aid decision making and provide peace of mind. Your HR professional, tax professional and benefits broker can also be great resources for you.

More to Discover

Banker

The Hidden Costs of In-House HR & Payroll

The Hidden Costs of In-House HR & Payroll

For years, many small businesses relied on in-house resources to process payroll and keep up with tax filings. Outsourcing payroll to a company was often deemed too costly and most businesses hesitated to relinquish full control.But with the growth of HCM technology and a host of available solutions to manage all components of the employee lifecycle, resistance to outsource HR and payroll has greatly declined. If you’re torn between the two options, check out our infographic below which highlights the risk and hidden costs of shouldering the burden alone.

Case Study: Pawtucket Red Sox

Case Study: Pawtucket Red Sox

The Pawtucket Red Sox Save 80+ Hours a Year with Paycor Solutions “Paycor’s solutions are truly influenced by the professionals who use them. I personally made a suggestion for a product enhancement and it was implemented within months. That tells me Paycor is focused on providing a useful tool and quality experience for users and not just making another sale.” - Matt Levin, Senior Vice President/Chief Financial & Technology Officer Why the Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Club Chose Paycor The Pawtucket Red Sox (Pawsox) are more than a professional minor league baseball club. They’re an organization that’s dedicated to positively impacting their local community. But since their HR & payroll technology was more of a burden than a...

Case Study: Carolina Taco

Case Study: Carolina Taco

After experiencing numerous tax filing and payroll processing errors, Carolina Taco and Prepared For You Inc. found a provider they could trust in Paycor. “My favorite thing about Paycor is the customer service. The team I work with is so helpful and responsive. They never leave me hanging and go above and beyond to answer questions and support our business.” - Diane Labiendo, Corporate Office Manager, Carolina Taco & Prepared For You Inc. Prior to Paycor Processing payroll was a time-consuming and frustrating experience. Not only did they experience multiple payroll and tax issues, but their previous provider failed to properly pay an employee’s child support. Phone calls searching for support often went unanswered, and HR is still...

What Happens if I Incorrectly Pay Employees?

What Happens if I Incorrectly Pay Employees?

Overpaying or underpaying employees seems like an easy problem to avoid. But it’s a serious challenge that plagues small and medium-sized businesses alike. In 2019 alone, the DOL collected a record $322 million in back wages for employees. With more crackdown and higher penalties, businesses need to be more prepared than ever before. But Penalties Aren’t Your Only Problems Keep in mind the DOL won’t be your only headache. Employee satisfaction, brand reputation and your bottom line are all at risk. To help, here’s everything you need to know should you ever incorrectly pay an employee. What Should You Do If You Overpay an Employee? Let’s start with the basics: According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers that make a...