Ashton-Blog

Whats Next for the ACA?

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President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have committed to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). How do their replacement proposals compare to the ACA? How do they compare to each other?

Kaiser Family Foundation has put together a comparison tool to view how each plan could impact employers and employees alike.

Overall, there are 5 plans that have been proposed:

  • The Affordable Care Act, 2010 (PDF)
  • Rep. Tom Price’s Empowering Patients First Act, 2015 (PDF)
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan’s A Better Way: Our Vision for a More Confident America, 2016 (PDF)
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy’s Patient Freedom Act, 2017 (PDF)
  • Sen. Rand Paul’s Obamacare Replacement Act, 2017 (PDF)

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Topics: aca, aca compliance, compliance

IRS’s Guide to ACA Compliance for Applicable Large Employers

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In 2016, the Affordable Care Act has issued reporting requirements for applicable large employers. Because of
special circumstances, the IRS recently drafted a guideline for employers to clear up any questions in order to remain in compliance.

Applicable large employers are classified as employers with 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees. These employers must report if a full time employee was offered minimum essential coverage providing minimum value and if they accepted minimum essential coverage. The ACA has required applicable large employers (ALEs) to use Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, and Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage for its reporting requirements.

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Topics: 2016, aca compliance, applicable, benefits technology, compliance, forms, healthcare reform, IRS, large employers, reporting

Employer Reporting Guide for Large Employers

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INTRODUCTION:

Beginning with calendar year 2015, an applicable large employer (ALE or “large employer,” as referenced in this summary) must use Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to report the information required under Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 and 6056 about offers of health coverage to full-time employees’ (FTEs) and individuals’ enrollment in health coverage.

Ashton Benefits’ free software includes the data and reports that you need to make these new requirements a breeze.

The most difficult part of the entire process is compiling the data!  Once you have the data, the rest is simply transposing it to the proper form!  But what will you do if there is no system in place to track your employee demographics, month by month coverage, and eligibility dates?  The free Ashton portal takes care of all of this!

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Topics: aca, benefits technology, compliance, employee benefits, healthcare reform, hris

The Importance of FMLA Administration

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The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) may seems reasonably straight forward; job-protected leave for employees. However, according to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), thousands of employers are subject to employee complaints annually. These complaints cost employers over $2 billion (with a ‘B’!) in back wages to employees, alone. Additionally, legal expenses and the costs associated with a DOL investigation can be substantial.

Are you FMLA compliant? The answer may be “no”… the fact is that the rules and regulations are complicated, and few HR departments have the resources to properly deal with the complex nature of FMLA compliance. Further contributing to the headache, maintaining compliance with state laws regarding leaves (which can differ from federal laws) can be similarly complex.

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Topics: compliance, ERISA, FMLA, fmla administration

ERISA Compliance in a Nutshell

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WHAT IS ERISA, AND WHO MUST COMPLY? 

The Department of Labor recently hired over 1000 agents to increase ERISA Audits.  

  • ERISA is a body of law that established and protects participant rights in employee benefit programs, including Pension and Health and Welfare Benefits, which sets standards for reporting and disclosure as well as fiduciary conduct.
  • ERISA is enforced by the Federal Department of Labor,with penalties for non-compliance payable both to the government and directly to aggrieved employees.
  • A common misconception is that ERISA applies only to plans with 100 or more participants,while the law applies to nearly all plans with at least one participant.

HOW DO I COMPLY WITH ERISA?

While ERISA is a complex body of law,it is critically important that a plan administrator abide by the reporting and disclosure requirements of ERISA.

Disclosure requirements can be met by creating and distributing Plan Documents,Summary Plan Descriptions(SPD), Summary Material Modifications (SMM), Summary Annual Reports (SAR), and other documents as dictated by ERISA.

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Topics: compliance, employee benefits, ERISA