August 22, 2014

Preparing Your Business Financially for the Affordable Care Act Rollout

The employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act is scheduled to go into effect in 2015. Though it is unclear what the full impact will be, employers need to begin preparing now, to meet this deadline.

Rethink Staffing Needs

The employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act impacts businesses with 50 or more full-time employees. For companies with close to 50 workers, there are a few ways to exclude yourself from the mandate or to reduce the number of workers for whom you have to provide health insurance. Some employers are offering jobs to two part-time workers, in lieu of adding additional full-time workers. Others are keeping as many full-time workers as possible, and offering overtime and other incentives to get the work done without going over the 50-worker threshold.

Outsource More Jobs

Another savvy way to do more work with fewer than 50 employees is to outsource jobs that aren’t directly involved in production. For example, you can outsource work to call centers, accounting firms, IT contractors, and other peripheral jobs, without adding staff to cover these jobs in-house. This allows you to keep your trained full-time staff, while staying out of the Affordable Care window.

Prepare Human Resources

Employees are going to have a lot of questions as deadlines approach, particularly regarding what health issues your insurance plan covers, rising premium rates, and what benefits are available for family members. Be sure your human resources staff gets the training they need to answer these questions as they arise. Some businesses set up a medial answering service to handle these important questions outside the office. Also, make sure your staff is up to date on important information your in-house staff needs, in order to stay compliant with the Affordable Care Act employer mandate.

Since aspects of the Affordable Care Act have been delayed numerous times, and some political parties are still fighting to stop the rollout altogether, stay informed on possible delays or date changes. The state of the Act is still fluid until fully implemented.