Separating Fact From Speculation About the ACA
There is no doubt that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a controversial subject over the last five years. We’ve had no shortage of presidential hopefuls, pundits, proponents and protesters talking about “Obamacare” positively or negatively with their own unique blend of truth and embellishment. Many people have formed their own opinions about Health Care Reform and perhaps the majority of Americans are still very confused about how it is all supposed to work. Even those of us who have studied the ACA extensively are still looking forward to some key guidance from the regulatory agencies that will answer some outstanding questions.
At Keenan, we talk with our clients and prospects regularly about the ACA and we listen carefully to their concerns and questions. Lately, we’ve heard some common misconceptions, inaccuracies as well as wishful thinking that some or all of it is just going to go away. Our goal here is not to debate partisan issues or advocate a position one way or the other. We just want to provide some very clear communication to help separate myth from reality about the ACA.
Speculation: Maybe if I ignore it, it will just go away.
As of today, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Most of the provisions of the ACA have been implemented and are in effect for employers, individuals, health plans and health care providers. In 2015, the Employer Mandate and its related penalties took effect and, in early 2016, those large employers subject to the mandate will be responsible for filing forms with the IRS and reporting on the coverage offered to their employees. For individuals without health insurance, the tax penalty takes a big leap this leap year. Oh, yes, the ACA is real and those who are out of compliance will feel it right in the bottom line.
The ACA has withstood two major Supreme Court challenges and, at this late date, it doesn’t appear the regulators will delay compliance with the penalties any further. While the IRS has recently extended the 1094-C and 1095-C filing deadlines, the due dates are still coming up fast.
Best Practice: Be ready to file your IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C in early 2016…avoid the penalty for failure to file and provide timely employee statements. Penalties could cost millions of dollars!