The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides employers with assistance in providing coverage for their employees. In addition, new small employer plans will include essential health benefits (link) and all group health plans will include preventive care, which can help your employees get and stay healthy with lower out-of-pocket costs like copayments and coinsurance.

What this means to you:

Although the new law may seem overwhelming, it is designed to help small business owners.

The ACA increases the tax credits available to small employers to reduce the amount you pay to provide health insurance for employees. This help is available whether you purchase health insurance directly from Horizon BCBSNJ or on the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange. [LINK to “Paying for coverage” page.]

Employers may face a host of new reporting requirements under the ACA. (LINK to REPORTING REQUIREMENTS)

Reporting Requirements

Employers face a host of new reporting requirements under the ACA. Here is a brief overview of the information you need to know about these requirements.

  • Employee Notification of Coverage Options: Employers must provide information about the new health care exchange to existing full-time employees by October 1, 2013. Employees hired after that date must be informed within 14 days of hire. Electronic delivery is permitted, if the delivery conforms to the ERISA electronic delivery safe harbor requirement.
  • W-2 Reporting:
 Employers must report the value of the benefits on each employee’s annual W-2 Form ,beginning with the calendar year 2012. Some employers are exempt from this requirement until the IRS issues further regulations, including but not limited to:
    • Employers filing fewer than 250 W-2s in the prior calendar year,
    • Multi-employer plans,
    • HRA plans, and
    • Self-insured plans not subject to COBRA rules.
  • Coverage and Minimum Value Reporting:
 Beginning in 2014, employers must report details of the coverage they offer employees, and whether it provides minimum value, to the IRS. Applicable large employers with at least 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees must file additional information demonstrating fulfillment of their responsibilities. The IRS has not released final details of this requirement.