Obamacare Employer Mandate
Under the Affordable Care Act, most Americans have to obtain health insurance or face a fine referred to as a shared responsibility payment.
The “employer mandate,” requires the employer to share responsibility similarly to the individual version.
The employer responsibility provision applies to Employers of more than 50 full-time equivalent or FTE employees.
- An employee is considered full time if she averages “at least 30 hours of service per week” in a month.
- Employees will also be considered full time if they work 130 hours in one calendar month, which is treated like the 30-hour provision outlined above.
Not only must larger employers offer coverage, but the insurance plan must be of “minimum value.” Minimum value is defined as covering “at least 60% of the total cost of medical services for a standard population.”
- Coverage must be of minimum value, and insurance plans have to cover dependents of the full-time employees. Spouses do not have to be covered.
- If a company has between 50 and 99 FTE employees, then it has to offer coverage to its full-time staff beginning in 2016.
- Companies with more than 100 FTE employees had to offer health insurance to at least 70 percent of their full-time staff beginning 2015.
- In 2016, those same large employers must offer insurance to 95 percent of their FTE workforce.
- To calculate whether a company has to abide by the employer responsibility provision, employers must look at their employment numbers for the previous year.
Penalty Fee Breakdown
If the employer’s plan fails to meet the minimum value requirement or costs more than 9.5 percent of an employee’s annual income, then the company will have to pay penalties.
- If an employer fails to offer any type of health insurance, affordable or otherwise, then the employer will have to pay a flat $2,000 per FTE employee. This amount will always be greater than the penalty for offering unaffordable insurance.
- Companies that don’t offer affordable coverage will owe $3,000 for every FTE employee who gains coverage through the marketplace. The $3,000 penalty will be divided by 12 in order to calculate monthly penalty payments.
- These penalties only come into play if an FTE employee enrolls in a subsidized health insurance plan on the marketplace.
- Companies are allowed to deduct the first 30 FTE employees from their calculations beginning in 2016.
The calculations can be extremely confusing, however the IRS will send a notice to employers letting them know if they need to fulfill the mandate and whether they’ve taken appropriate actions.
Benefits for Small Employers
If your company has fewer than 25 FTE employees whose average salaries don’t exceed $50,000 annually, then you probably qualify for a federal tax credit, for which you’ll need to apply using a specific tax form. If your company has fewer than 50 FTE workers, you can also browse through insurance options and Compare Programs from over 40 Carriers, Side by Side at www.autoclubhealthenrollment.com