What do Human Resource Managers Need to Know about the Affordable Care Act?

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The Affordable Care Act has been one of the most frequently debated and discussed topics ever. The ACA is designed to ensure that everyone in the United States has access to affordable health insurance. Despite its intentions, it has received a lot of both positive and negative feedback from politicians, business owners, and individuals. While the ACA will have an impact on all people’s lives, those that are in Human Resources may find that it could have a very significant impact on their jobs as the new act gets implemented. Human Resources managers will need to be fully aware of all of the upcoming changes and how it could impact their companies and employees. There are several factors that all HR managers need to be aware of when it comes to the Affordable Care Act.

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Requirement to Provide Insurance

One of the most controversial parts of the ACA is that most big companies will now be required to provide their employees with insurance. The general rule is that any company that has 50 or more employees will need to provide their full-time employees with access to a health insurance plan. In many cases today, business will either not provide a health insurance plan to their employees, or they will only provide one to a specific set of employees. If adequate insurance is not provided, HR managers should start working promptly to find a new plan that works for the business and complies with the legal standards.

Limits on Benefits and Other Payroll Changes

Another change that will be coming that HR managers need to be ready for is the limit on certain benefits that are provided to individuals and other payroll changes. Starting with the 2013 tax year, year-end tax statements will need to list the amount of money that a company spent insuring their employees. In cases where the health insurance coverage that was provided was extreme, it could soon be taxable. Furthermore, individuals who take advantage of flexible spending accounts will now see that they are now capped at $2,500 per year and those individuals who earn over $200,000 per year will start having to contribute a higher portion of their salary to Medicare.

Educate Employees About Law and Benefits

Another part of the ACA that HR managers need to be aware of is that they are now going to be required to inform and educate employees about the new law, what their benefits are, and what they are legally obligated to do. This will include explaining what the current health insurance options are, what an employee is required to pay to receive their benefits, and what portion of the insurance that the company offers. Furthermore, employees will need to be educated about what their legal requirement is to get their own insurance if they choose not to accept the company’s insurance plan.

In conclusion, the Affordable Care Act is one of the most significant forms of litigation passed in decades. As all businesses will soon need to comply with the act, there are several things that HR managers of businesses will need to be aware of to ensure that they are prepared for the new regulations.

Further reading:

What HR managers need to know about the Affordable Care Act
Affordable Care Act: What HR Managers need to Know