health care reform
Part 2 assumes that you have determined you qualify as a large employer under the ACA (if you are not sure, go here, for Part 1).
This is the first part of a continuing series designed to help you diagnose whether your company is going to be forced to pay a penalty under the ACA (aka "Obamacare"). The first question is whether you qualify as a "large employer" under the law. The law defines that as any employer with more than 50 "full-time equivalent employees." NOTE the language used there. "Full-time equivalents" are not the same thing as "full-time employees."
The last clear chance to disrupt the full implementation of Obamacare slipped by last night. Depsite the fact that a majority of Americans oppose it, the Affordable Care Act will be fully implemented with occasional modifications as the Secretary for Health and Human Services sees fit.
WHAT DO EMPLOYERS HAVE TO DO NEXT?
Here is something you probably have not heard much about. Obamacare's 3.8% "Medicare surtax" will take effect in January. You already pay a 2.9% on your wages (you pay half and your employer pays the other half). Now, if you have income from interest, dividends, rents, and capital gains, you may take on an additional tax burden.
The Summary of Benefits and Coverage Requirement within the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) becomes effective September 23, 2012. The ostensible purpose of the SBC requirement is to require that benefit information be passed to plan members in an easy to understand format and in a timely fashion. However, without a doubt it creates an additional administrative burden upon carriers and employers administering group health plans.
According to a nationwide survey, 58% of employers offer a "consumer driven health plan" to employees and their dependents. Consumer driven health plans are usually characterized by higher deductibles than traditional PPO plans as well as the elimination of co-pays. In return, the plans are available at lower premiums than traditional PPO plans.
Spending the morning reading the new 18 page IRS Notice 2012-58 defining full time employees under Obamacare is not ideal. Doubt me? You can read them yourself right here. The ACA broadly defines a full time employee as anyone working more than 30 hours a week.