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Affordable Health Care Act … Avoiding Penalties in 2015 Dave Villar, President Pacific Coast Benefits LLC, Dave Villar is the President of Pacific Coast Benefits LLC. He was a founder and partner of PDI Insurance Services. Dave is an active mem- ber of the National Association of Health Underwriters and a member of the Anthem Blue Cross Agent Advisory Council. He has specialized in Employee Benefit Planning for businesses since 1987. To find out more about Pacific Coast Benefits and upcoming Healthcare Reform Seminars, visit or call (408) 847-1000. 40 T In 2015, employers will also need he new year brings with it new to navigate new regulations and challenges and changes for penalties as well. As of January 1, Americans interacting with the 2015, employers with more than 100 Affordable Care Act. Both individuals full-time employees must offer qualified and business will see changes in 2015 health insurance to 70% of their to ACA regulations and penalties. employees or face a penalty. In 2016, Earlier this month Covered California the threshold drops to 50 employ- announced it is stepping up messaging ees and 95%. Most large employers about the rising penalties for not have been planning for this event having health insurance, encouraging and already have a qualified plan in Californians without coverage to place, however many have not and will sign up for coverage and avoid the face a potential Shared Responsibility tax penalties. In 2015, the “Shared Penalty. The penalty for not offering Responsibility Penalty,” the penalty qualified, affordable health insurance for not having health insurance has is $2,000 per increased signifi- employee after cantly from 2014. “Consumers must enroll soon the 80th employ- In 2015, a family to insure they don’t miss the ee in 2015 and of four earning window of opportunity for buying after the 30th $70,000 per year subsidized health coverage this employee in could pay up to year and to avoid steep penalties 2016. In addi- $1,000 in penal- taking effect for not having tion to the pen- ties if they remain coverage in 2015” alty, new report- uninsured in 2015, ing requirements a dramatic increase begin this year from last year. The that must be filed by February of 2016. same family of four will likely see that To prepare for this, larger employers penalty rise to $2,085 if they continue are encouraged to “clean up” their to remain uninsured into the end of next record keeping and documentation year. Unlike in years past, the purchase practices. Large employers will be of Individual Health Coverage is limited required to report names, addresses, to a specific time frame know as Open and tax identification numbers for all Enrollment. This year, Open Enrollment participating and non-participating ended March 1st and many insurers employees. A draft release of this including Covered California closed requirement and the tax forms them- the application process on February selves (1094-C and 1095-C) can be 15th. Peter Lee, the Executive Director found on the IRS website. These two of Covered California, issued a state- forms will be used to report data to ment last month regarding this Open the IRS regarding offers of insurance Enrollment Season. “We continue to to eligible employees and the costs see strong interest in enrolling in cover- associated with the offer. age as Open Enrollment continues, but Now more than ever good advice there are still hundreds of thousands and direction from a qualified insurance of Californians who need to sign professional is invaluable. If you have up. Consumers must enroll soon to questions regarding the Affordable insure they don’t miss the window of Care Act and its impact on your family opportunity for buying subsidized health or business, please feel free to contact coverage this year and to avoid steep us. Pacific Coast Benefits is here to penalties taking effect for not having help navigate the Affordable Care Act. coverage in 2015.” G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MARCH / APRIL 2015