Answers to Affordable Care Act Questions

Answers to Affordable Care Act Questions

Written By: Chris Hadden

from October 27, 2015

I’ve never heard so many news stories that directly relate back to what I talk about on a daily basis. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is no secret. Everyone has heard of it by now, but many businesses have yet to fully consider what impact it will have on them. At Greenshades, we’ve spent the last 20 years working with payroll, human resources (HR), benefit, and financial users on a daily basis; however, rarely before have we talked with them all at the same time. ACA impacts everyone in an organization, but it presents significant challenges to those particular departments and takes team building to a new level. With so much data needed from so many departments and records, many running different systems and databases, ACA is a huge challenge for any business.

For the past 12 months, I’ve been running a series of webinars and presentations geared around the ACA, which has allowed me the opportunity to speak with hundreds of companies around the country, all of whom have varying levels of familiarity with the Affordable Care Act. One thing they have in common, though, is that they are all very scared. If there wasn’t enough fear in the heart of businesses around the country already, the IRS just kicked it up a notch by recently increasing the penalties for non-compliance. After talking with so many of these Microsoft Dynamics users over the past year, I’ve seen a number of reoccurring questions.

Is it too late? What about historical information?

Any employee who works more than 30 hours of service per week or 130 hours of service per month over the course of his/her measurement period is considered a full-time employee for the purposes of ACA, so historical data is essential. The form 1095-C issued to these employees also presents complications because a historical offer of coverage needs to be tracked continuously throughout the year to have a full scope of what to report on the form at year end. It’s important that any business react as soon as possible because this is no time to give up and hide. By pulling historical payroll and HR data from Microsoft Dynamics, Greenshades is able to calculate the full-time status for employees and capture historical coverage details, with minimal edits. The longer you wait, however, the more complicated this becomes.

I want to go green. What electronic options does the IRS offer related to ACA?

The IRS offers various ways to go paperless; some are voluntarily and some are mandatory. Any business that is filing more than 250 1095-C records to the IRS must file the 1094-C transmittal electronically. Even if a business has less than 250 records, it can optionally file electronically with the IRS. Please note: If you already have a Transmitter Control Code (TCC) for filing other 1099s electronically, in order to file the 1094/1095 electronically, you must register for a new TCC with the ACA Information Reports (AIR) system. By using the Greenshades applications, however, you can avoid this registration process, which gives you one less headache to deal with. The IRS also allows the 1095-C form to be issued electronically to the recipient so long as the recipient explicitly agrees to receive this form electronically. The Greenshades Year End Forms module will track this consent process for you, saving you both time and money in January by avoiding the need to print and mail paper 1095-Cs to recipients.

Our employees have enrolled in self-insured plans; can you help?

Self-insured coverage leads to some additional challenges with the Affordable Care Act, but nothing that cannot be tackled with the appropriate resources. Because self-insured companies will not have an insurance carrier to issue a form 1095-B to all covered individuals, an employer that offers health coverage through an employer-sponsored self-insured health plan must complete form 1095-C, Parts 1, 2, and 3, for any employee who enrolls in the health coverage, whether or not the employee is a full-time employee for any month of the calendar year. Part 3 includes information on which dependents were covered throughout the year. This means that a business must take additional steps in ensuring that dependent election data is collected and stored throughout the year. Coverage offered to non-employees must also be reported; however, this will be reported on form 1095-B.

An employer that offers employer-sponsored self-insured health coverage, but is not an applicable large employer subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions under section 4980H, should not file forms 1094-C and 1095-C, but should instead file forms 1094-B and 1095-B to report information for employees who enrolled in the employer-sponsored self-insured health coverage.

Greenshades has full support for employers with self-insured plans and will support both the form 1094/1095-C, as well as the 1094/1095-B. Greenshades will also assist in tracking and storing the dependent elections throughout the year, making the completion of 1095-C Part 3 a breeze at year end.

What versions of Microsoft Dynamics does Greenshades support?

Greenshades offers support for multiple versions of Microsoft Dynamics (AX, GP, NAV, and SL), including versions of Microsoft Dynamics no longer officially supported by Microsoft (such as Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0, or Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 as of October 2015).

I’m not processing payroll in Microsoft Dynamics. Is that a problem?

Many businesses who outsource their payroll have come to the unpleasant truth that their payroll providers may not be offering any support for the Affordable Care Act, unless they are prepared to use a large amount of financial and personnel resources to implement an entire HR suite. Not to worry; Greenshades can help. Greenshades offers a Microsoft Excel® template that can be used at year end for populating employee and coverage details, which will be used for populating form 1095-C or 1095-B in January. Greenshades will assist with the electronic reporting to the IRS as well.

The IRS tells me I’m part of an Aggregated ALE Group. Can Greenshades help with that?

As a business associated with an Aggregated ALE Group, it’s key that employee-level data is properly accessible and tracked throughout the year, especially if you have an employee who works across multiple employer groups. Any hours of service accumulated throughout the measurement period for the employee must be aggregated across all of the reporting companies. Just because the employee does not work more than 30 hours of service per week in any one particular company does not mean the employee is not a full-time employee. In addition to tracking employee hours across multiple companies, the companies in question must also work together for reporting the form 1095-C at year end to determine which company should be responsible for reporting in January. Greenshades provides businesses the ability to set up Aggregated ALE Groups to make employee tracking very manageable throughout the year, and all required logic will be applied by Greenshades reporting at year end to keep you and your business in compliance. Visit www.greenshades.com or call 888-255-3815 to learn more.