If you’ve been watching the news this year, you know that healthcare has remained a hot topic in Washington, DC. Congress and President Trump batted around several ideas that would repeal or vastly roll back provisions within the Affordable Care Act, but finally called it quits when a consensus could not be reached.
For now, lawmakers have abandoned the idea of a total repeal and/or replacement of the healthcare law. That means many of the provisions included within the ACA, which were delayed and gradually implemented, will continue to take effect throughout the country.
One of those provisions is the employer mandate, which requires many small and midsize businesses to provide their employees with a qualifying health insurance plan. The rule has been in place already, of course, but the IRS needed time to build its compliance systems. Therefore, the requirement wasn’t exactly enforced until those systems were complete…. But now, the IRS has announced that they are beginning to notify employers who failed to comply with the law in 2015.
Under the employer mandate, businesses which employ more than 50 full-time workers must provide them a group health insurance plan which meets requirements set forth under the ACA. Those who failed to comply will face steep tax penalties. Since the first batch of letters addresses businesses that failed to comply with the law in 2015, we can assume the IRS will continue to catch up with those who failed to comply in 2016, and so on.
Congress continues to debate various other tax issues, as both the House and Senate are putting together bills to revise the income tax structure. But so far, the employer mandate has not been mentioned within those bills (the Senate bill effectively reverses the individual mandate, by doing away with tax penalties for individuals who do not enroll in health insurance, but this will not affect employers).
So for now, the employer mandate stands, and it will be enforced. If your business is growing and you are approaching the 50-worker threshold, it is time to evaluate your group health insurance options. Give us a call, and we will help you identify your options and select a plan that is right for your business.