A Broker’s Role is Not About Pricing Anymore
Before the ACA, annual renewals were all about price negotiation, but now companies are looking to their brokers for help with ACA compliance, and compliance with other laws such as the Employment Retirement Income Security Act.
Brokers will have to take on more than negotiating price and insurance policy packages in 2016 and going forward. They’ll need to provide more consultative support thanks to the complexities created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and will need to include payroll providers for reporting compliance.
Adjusting to the ACA
The first year of ACA reporting has been difficult to say the least for many employers, especially for those who were not clear on whether or not they fell within the requirements. There are a lot of different components to ACA compliance, including determining eligibility, contributions, and when health care was offered. With different platforms for payroll, benefits, training, and other workforce systems, sorting through the data needed for reporting proved to be a complicated undertaking.
Many employers left their reporting until the last minute, hoping there would be a change in the law, or simply procrastinating on the arduous task. As time goes on, however, many companies now understand the details of the law and how to better prepare. This includes the need to turn to human capital management systems offered by their payroll providers, and relying on brokers for assistance and guidance in benefit plans.
The Time is Now
Employers should have already sent out employee copies of Forms 1095 and should be on their way to providing that data to the IRS by June 30. As this tax season comes to a close, however, it’s important for employers to ensure they’re in compliance for the current year. Benefits plans should be reviewed with brokers to ensure ACA requirements, employee communications, and benefit plan construction are correct. They should also continue getting support and education to understand their payroll and health care responsibilities under new and evolving regulations. In addition, employers should consider implementing a system that tracks the ACA requirements throughout the year, preventing the need for massive year-end work to populate the required forms.
What This Means to You
The second year of the ACA should mean closer relationships between brokers, employers and payroll service providers. Rather than support once a year to negotiate the best pricing on group plans, employers need brokers to help them analyze the options for employee health care, how to communicate health care insurance issues with employees, and how to manage the ongoing impacts of health care reform. The three parties also need to communicate about ongoing monitoring of compliance and careful planning for year-end filing.
How PAYDAY Can Help
PAYDAY staff and HR partners can help explain ACA changes, requirements, deadlines, and other issues that affect your business and provide the support, education, and information to help you understand ACA compliance.