numbers photoAs most employers know, a large part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the standardized definition of affordable health coverage for employees. This definition, otherwise known as the employer mandate, set a percentage of an employee’s household income that their health care coverage contribution cannot exceed.  When fully implemented, employers that did not offer affordable plans to employees are subject to penalties.

As with a number of provisions in the ACA, the employer mandate was delayed at least a year (depending on company size). News came out from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently that the maximum employee contribution percentage will increase from 9.5% to 9.56% as the mandate starts to be phased in.

In a related move, the IRS also adjusted the individual mandate (threshold of household income that cannot be exceeded for a plan to be considered affordable) from 8% to 8.05%.

As a reminder, here is the current timetable for employer mandate:

Employers with 100+ employees:

  • Must offer affordable health plans to at least 70% of full-time employees by 1/1/15;
  • Must offer affordable health plans to at least 95% of full-time employees by 1/1/16.

Employers with 50-99 employees:

  • Must offer affordable health plans to at least 95% of full-time employees by 1/1/16.

If you are an employer that falls into one of these categories (most importantly 100+ employers), we’d advise you to ensure that the percentage change doesn’t impact your compliance with the employer mandate.

As always, if you have any ACA-related questions or concerns, you are always welcome to reach out to us and get answers from our health care experts.

Photo by kenteegardin

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Teri Weber

Teri Weber

Partner at Spring Consulting Group, LLC
Teri Weber, ACI is a Senior Vice President with Spring Consulting Group. She has over 10 years of experience in health and welfare plan strategy, design, pricing, and implementation. She also works with absence management programs, including disability, family medical leave and leave of absence tracking. Her areas of expertise have allowed her to work with diverse employers and vendors to streamline processes and programs to meet the needs of insurers, administrators, employers and employees. Teri is on the Board for the New England Employee Benefits Council (NEEBC) and recently served as lead editor for the Disability Management Employer Coalition’s (DMEC) Return to Work Program Manual. Prior to joining Spring, Teri worked with Watson Wyatt, Buck Consultants and AON Consulting. In addition she was an Account Manager with Health Direct, Inc. Teri earned a BS at the University of Connecticut and a MBA at the University of Massachusetts. She holds an ACI designation and is a licensed broker in the states of MA and CT.