Affordable Care Act
If you’re an employer, you’ve probably been anxiously watching news coverage about the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If so, you know the House Republicans have now withdrawn their version of the health care bill since they were unable to find enough votes to repeal the ACA. Therefore, the ACA remains “the law of the land” (in the words of House Speaker Paul Ryan), and companies should continue to comply with its requirements. Depending on the size of your company, those requirements could include:
- Reporting the total cost of health insurance on employee W-2s (both employer- and employee-paid)
- Providing employees and the government with information statements (Form 1094/1095) by the applicable deadlines
- Withholding an additional .9% of Medicare tax from employees at the point in the calendar year where their wages exceed $200,000
- Providing affordable minimum essential coverage to your full time employees (and offering coverage to full time employees’ dependents) or potentially owe an employer shared responsibility payment
- If you’re self-insured, paying a fee to help fund the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (sometimes referred to as the “PCORI fee”)
More information is available on the IRS website by clicking here.
As you may remember, a federal judge delayed implementation of the new exempt employee regulations just before last year’s December 1 deadline. Many companies had already adjusted salaries or changed the FLSA status of their employees to comply with the new rule, which increased the salary threshold at which an employee could be considered exempt from $23,660 to $47,476. The DOL appealed, but nothing happened on that appeal, pending the inauguration of a new president. While on the campaign trail, presidential candidate Trump indicated he opposed the new rule for small businesses, so it’s expected that the final regulation will have some differences from the 2016 version.
In his Senate confirmation hearing on March 22, 2017, DOL Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta responded to questions about the overtime rule by saying that once confirmed, he would determine whether the DOL should continue to pursue its appeal or revise the rule. He indicated his concern that such a dramatic increase in the salary threshold would have an adverse impact on the economy, nonprofits and areas of the US with historically lower wages, and said he thought the salary threshold figure should be something more like $33,000. Obviously these are just comments and not legislation, but they give an idea of the direction of the DOL should Mr. Acosta be confirmed.
We will continue to keep you updated as these events unfold. If you have further questions, please contact your Mize Houser relationship manager and watch our Insights and email newsletters.