Much has been written about the “Affordable Care Act” (ACA) as it pertains to individuals, but less information is readily available to employers with questions and concerns. While implementation of the ACA has been delayed, it is still causing anxiety for facility professionals who are uncertain about the rules, regulations, and fines associated with the legislation. In “The Business Owner’s Guide to The Employer Mandate,” Mario K. Castillo, a labor and employment attorney at Monty & Ramirez LLP examines the ACA’s employer mandate.
“My goal with guide is to clear up all the misinformation and give readers a basic overview of how the major parts of the employer mandate work and empower them to make the right choices,” said Castillo. “It’s written for small- to medium-sized business owners who can’t afford to hire in-house lawyers but need to know how to avoid breaking the law and employer mandate penalties.”
Penalties can be substantial, and indicators show that the Department of Labor, OSHA, and the IRS will all play a role in auditing businesses in order to verify compliance. Failure to offer insurance coverage to employees could lead to a minimum yearly fine of $40,000. And even if employers do offer “qualified,” “affordable” coverage (but don’t do it exactly as the law states), a minimum fine of $3,000 per affected employee could be incurred.
“The Business Owner’s Guide to The Employer Mandate” answers employers’ questions like:
- Is my company required to comply with ACA?
- How much will it cost if our company doesn’t offer health insurance?
- I’ve heard about “safe harbors.” What are they?
- I have also heard about “managing risk exposure.” How do I manage risk?
- How does the ACA define “qualified” healthcare?
- Do I have to pay for coverage for an employee’s spouse and dependents as well?
“This is a new world where faulty assumptions can lead to costly penalties,” stated Castillo. “There’s no one-size-fits all answer to the employer mandate question because each business is different. The only thing that’s sure is that you need to start preparing now.”