While the meatiest provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect in 2014, there are some requirements to tend to right now. Make sure you are ready to comply with the following:
1. W-2s. Most employers need to make sure their 2012 W-2s (i.e. those issued in January, 2013) include the premium cost of their health care plan. Small employers, meaning those that issued fewer than 250 W-2s last year don’t have to comply until 2013, meaning the W-2s they will issue in January, 2014. The premium should be shown in Box 12 with the code DD and should include both the employer and employee share combined.
2. Medicare Payroll Tax–Beginning in 2013, high wage earners on your payroll, defined as those earning more than $200,000, will be subject to an increased Medicare payroll tax on the amount above that threshhold. The employer contribution will not change. Here’s an example: If Jane earns $300,000, her first $200,000 is taxed at the regular rate of 1.45%. The remaining $100,000, however, must be taxed at a rate that is .9% higher, 2.35%. Be sure to set up your payroll systems accordingly.
3. Summary of Benefits Comparison (SBC)–This form is due to employees on the first day of your first health coverage open enrollment following September 23, 2012. The SBC was designed to help employees better understand and compare their health insurance plan choices. So for plan years beginning January 1st, you will need to get these to employees by December 1st. Most likely your health providers will be able to create them for you to distribute to employees. Note that electronic copies are permissible but you must provide a hard copy upon request.
For the SBC template and everything you need to know about the Affordable Care Act, subscribers may refer to HRSentry’s Healthcare Reform Kit, under the HR-Related Modules under the Knowledge Menu.