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Health Care Reform is Coming. Are You Ready?

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With key deadlines associated with the Affordable Care Act fast approaching, many employers are realizing that this is the biggest and most highly-complex compliance challenge they’ve ever faced.  They’re also realizing that this increased complexity is going to create an administrative burden on their HR departments.

Now is the time to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to ensure your company is prepared for the new regulations when they take effect next year. One way to do this is to implement a benefits platform that is powerful enough to automate routine tasks, reduce paperwork and streamline the entire benefits administration process.

Here is how Custom Communication’s bswift platform is helping employers prepare for the upcoming changes:

Employer Shared Responsibility

As of January 1, 2014, employers with 50 or more full-time employees will be required to offer affordable health insurance coverage to all full-time employees and their dependents. “Affordable” coverage is defined as insurance that pays at least 60 percent of covered health care expenses and doesn’t exceed 9.5 percent of the employee’s household income for the taxable year.

How bswift can help: bswift reporting allows employers to quickly determine whether an employee’s individual insurance cost exceeds the 9.5 percent threshold.

Automatic Enrollment

Employers with 200 or more full-time employees will be required to automatically enroll new employees in the company’s group health plan.

How bswift can help: bswift streamlines this process through its automatic enrollment feature.

Form W-2 Reporting

Employers issuing 250 or more W-2s for calendar year 2011 were required to include the value of their group health insurance coverage on each employee’s 2012 W-2 form. This provision will be ongoing and will affect W-2s for all future calendar years.

How bswift can help: bswift tracks employee and employer contributions annually, automatically calculating the total cost of insurance coverage for each employee each year.

Determining Full-time and Part-time Statuses

Beginning in 2014, large employers must track each employee’s monthly status as full time or part time and report these statuses to the IRS. A full-time employee is classified as someone working 30 or more hours a week or 130 or more hours a month.

How bswift helps: bswift can track the number of hours worked and has the ability to determine “pay” or “play.”

Wellness Incentives

Beginning on January 1, 2014, wellness incentives will increase from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of health insurance coverage. These wellness programs may include both participatory wellness programs, such as reimbursements for gym memberships, or health-contingent wellness programs, such as rewards for those who don’t smoke.

How bswift helps: bswift can track wellness incentives and surcharges, integrate with wellness vendors to track activity and link to a wellness portal for integration.

Employee Notice of Exchange

As of October 1, 2013, employers must provide all current employees with a notice describing the availability of exchange coverage. This Notice of Exchange must also be provided to all new hires within 14 days of their employment date.

How bswift helps: bswift will include this employee acknowledgement along with other materials as part of the new hire on-boarding process.

Have questions about other ways bswift reduces the increased administrative burden of the ACA? Contact Jason Hancock at (508) 946-2693 or at jhancock@custom-comm.com