Are You Ready to Execute the ACA?

Co-authored by Jenny Riley

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The U.S. Senate tried their best to kill it. At first it was repeal and replace the ACA (or “Obamacare” if you prefer). Next came repeal, followed closely by “skinny repeal” (whatever that means). Despite their efforts, the Senate failed to execute the ACA.

With the ACA still alive, where does that leave employers? Like it or not, employers have been left to execute the ACA.

To clarify, we don’t mean employers now have their chance to undo Obamacare. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The responsibilities of employers under the ACA remain unchanged. It’s entirely on the shoulders of applicable large employers – and their HR departments – to live, breathe, comply with, and execute the requirements of the ACA.

To be fair, we should mention employers aren’t the only ones preparing to execute. The IRS is still in the mix. In recent days, the IRS has shown signs they too are ready for execution:

  • The IRS issued draft versions of the 2017 reporting year forms 1094-C and 1095-C in late July. While revised instructions for the forms have not yet been released, the updated forms indicate very little change. There are no proposed changes to the 1095-C in the released draft. The 1094-C draft includes removal of Section 4980H Transition Relief. This change is to be expected as the transitional relief was, by its nature, a temporary relief for non-calendar year plans.
  • The IRS released a memo last month confirming the business rules and technical requirements for electronic reporting into the AIR system for the 2017 reporting season.
  • The IRS updated its Q&A page on the ACA in late April. The page includes the following detail regarding employer shared responsibility payments (i.e. penalties):
  • The IRS expects to inform employers of their potential liability for 2015 beginning in 2017.
  • While the notifications for the first year of required reporting took two years, beginning in 2018, the IRS expects it will begin informing employers of their potential liability within months of filing.

Taken together, these signals from the IRS are an important reminder the ACA remains very much alive for the coming reporting season. If you haven’t done so already, we urge employers to call Hodges-Mace to help prepare for the ACA reporting season. Our ACA analysts will help support your HR team, track your information, and deliver on your ACA responsibilities. Like you, it’s every bit our role to live, breathe, and execute the ACA. Are you ready?