Group Insurance Orange County Solana Insurance Service located in Newport Beach in Orange County, CA is one of the leading small business consultants in the realm of Group health insurance and small business employee benefits. We have been helping small businesses navigate the ever-changing world of health insurance for over 12 years and our clients include some of the most dynamic small businesses in California. With the implementation of Obamacare, employers are facing changes to their employee’s group health insurance rates on a scale not seen in history. The regulations are changing and the penalties for not providing health insurance are still being debated. The bottom line is that many small business do not know what is actually coming down the pipe for 2014 and beyond. Solana Insurance Services has its finger on the pulse of what is going on now with respect to group health insurance and is committed to keeping its clients notified of these changes. We make sure that our customers group insurance is set up in an optimum way so that the burden to the employer is minimized, and so the employees are getting the best insurance plans. There are many changes that will take effect over the coming years with respect to Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Solana Insurance Services will be able to guide your company through this changing landscape as a sherpa guides a climber to the top of a mountain. While some of these changes will have a tremendous impact for local businesses, knowing what is coming and being prepared for the changes will be an advantage that companies will need in order to minimize the increase in costs that are inevitable with the looming changes. Employer Mandate Penalties Delayed Until 2015 The Obama Administration has postponed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate penalties for one year, until 2015. The Department of the Treasury announced the delay on July 2, 2013, along with a similar delay for information reporting by employers, health insurance issuers and self-funded plan sponsors. The delay does not affect any other provision of the ACA, including individuals’ access to premium tax credits for coverage through an Exchange. The Treasury plans to issue more formal information about the delay within a week. What you need to know right now: ONE-YEAR IMPLEMENTATION DELAY The employer mandate provisions of the ACA are also known as the employer shared responsibility or pay or play rules. These rules impose penalties on large employers that do not offer affordable, minimum value coverage to their full-time employees and dependents. They were set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2014. According to the Treasury, the delay of the employer mandate was required because of issues related to the reporting requirement. With the reporting rules delayed, it would be nearly impossible to determine which employers owed penalties under the shared responsibility provisions. Therefore, these payments will not apply for 2014. The now-delayed reporting requirements are found in Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 and 6056. These rules apply to insurers, self-insuring employers and other parties that provide health coverage, along with certain employers with respect to health coverage offered to their full-time employees. The Administration’s decision is based on concerns voiced by businesses about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. Effects of the Delay The additional year will give employers time to understand the employer mandate rules, to make decisions about providing health coverage and to adapt their reporting systems, without worrying about potentially significant penalties. It is unclear how the new deadline will impact guidance that has already been issued, such as the transition relief for non-calendar year plans and the optional safe harbor for determining full-time status. Future Guidance The administration plans to use the additional implementation time to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with ACA. The Treasury also plans to discuss the rules with stakeholders, including employers that currently provide health coverage to employees, and then publish proposed rules implementing these provisions later this summer. It is the Treasury’s intention to minimize the reporting requirements. The pay or play regulations issued earlier this year left many unanswered questions for employers. The IRS had highlighted several areas where it would be issuing more guidance. Presumably, the additional time will give the IRS and Treasury the opportunity to provide more comprehensive guidance on implementing these requirements. Solana Insurance Services will continue to monitor developments and will keep you informed of the latest updates. Don’t get caught without a plan. Contact Solana Insurance today to ask how your company can stay ahead of the curve in small business group health insurance and we will schedule a consultation to show you what you can do to minimize the impact these changes will have for your small business. We help large companies as well as small groups so don’t hesitate to contact us regardless of the size of your business. For more information call Solana Insurance at 949-675-1920.
Solana Insurance Services, Inc.