While compliance isn’t fun, it’s definitely better than the alternative. No matter how little you enjoy the data collection, record keeping, and form filing required for compliance, you probably enjoy paying fines even less.
The holidays are full of cheer, and for many companies, full of extra seasonal hires. Some companies, like Target, are hiring over 100,000 seasonal workers to combat the holiday rush. In 2015, a total of 675,300 new hires were made in the retail space alone, a number that’s predicted to stay around the same this year.
Employers have one perspective on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Employee benefits providers have another.
In late July, Bass Pro Shops settled with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $10.5 million dollars and a promise to enforce certain initiatives, including the creation of an Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Today, President Trump signed an executive order intended to loosen regulations currently enforced under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The order specifically directs the Treasury and the Department of Labor to:
- Expand rules for association health plans, allowing more employers to ban together and purchase healthcare plans, including plans across state lines;
- Loosen regulations on and make available short-term limited duration insurance that’s not subject to the essential health benefits mandates of the ACA; and
- Create rules that allow employees to use Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) funds to pay for healthcare premiums
Health care compliance involves a lot of moving parts: Insurance companies, the IRS, HR, benefits brokers, software compliance companies, employers themselves…. The list can seem endless.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was always meant to collect penalties from employers who didn’t comply with its regulations. Yet in the few years that ACA tracking and reporting has been required, these penalties haven’t seemed particularly real.
Benefits brokers used to have a well-defined job: Sell health care benefits to companies for a commission and occasionally answer employer questions about these services.
Everyone likes growth, but no one likes growing pains. Unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other. More employees, more revenue, and more influence undoubtedly come with more paperwork, more responsibility, and more regulations.
Ready or not, it’s almost time for the next wave of ACA and EEOC reporting.