ACA Compliance for Remote Workers – Tips and Best Practices
Managing remote employees can be challenging, especially regarding ACA compliance. Employers should ensure their employee handbooks reflect all ACA compliance requirements, particularly as laws can change yearly.
For example, suppose your employee policy states that temporary and intern workers are not eligible for health insurance coverage. This may need to be updated in that case as these types of employees must be offered range.
Track Employees’ Hours
What is this affordable care act employer mandate? Whether you have traditional full-time employees with predictable hours or variable-hour workers, tracking time accurately is vital. Especially with ACA compliance requirements, you need to know your employees’ actual hours for every week and month to determine their eligibility. Time tracking systems with ACA modules can alert you when an employee has scheduled hours that may trigger overtime pay or when they reach the minimum number of hours to become eligible for health benefits.
Many companies have a mix of part-time and full-time employees. Generally, an employee must work at least 30 hours a week on average to be considered a “full-time equivalent” worker for ACA purposes. Part-time and variable-hour employees can be counted towards this total, but the company must offer them coverage or report to the government.
When you have remote workers, maintaining communication can be challenging. It’s important to schedule regular meetings, encourage video conferencing, and invite employees to the primary worksite periodically. It’s also critical to provide clear policies and guidelines for remote workers so they understand their responsibilities.
It’s also essential to set clear expectations about what is expected of remote employees and rules for remote work, such as a requirement that they use secure means to connect to the company’s systems and not download confidential information to personal devices. Finally, you should be aware that employment laws vary by jurisdiction. If your company operates in multiple jurisdictions, it’s important to consult legal counsel to understand the law that will apply to your remote workers.
Offer Health Insurance
Health insurance is one of the most valued employee benefits for many remote workers. Offering it to your employees is a great way to attract and retain them, but there are many factors to consider when making the decision. Ultimately, it is your business’s responsibility to comply with ACA requirements. Non-compliance can result in fines that damage your bottom line and tarnish your reputation.
Whether your company is an applicable large employer (ALE) or small business, you need to carefully consider the impact of the ACA on your workforce and your budget. To avoid penalties, it’s essential to accurately measure your workers’ hours and calculate the ALE status for each person. Using an ACA service provider can help you ensure compliance with the law and avoid costly fines.
Traditional health insurance can be expensive and complex to manage for small companies. To simplify the process, consider a digital marketplace for health insurance. This platform allows employees to compare and choose the best plan for their needs while reducing their administrative burden.
It’s also important to remember that when you report data on your workers, you interact with personal health information (PHI). Therefore, treating PHI with the highest level of security is critical. To protect your workers’ privacy, you should make sure that you select an ACA software solution that complies with HIPAA regulations.
Offer Additional Benefits
Many of the same employment laws that apply to onsite employees also apply to remote workers. This means employers must establish rules and processes to ensure compliance with these laws, especially around distributing required notices. In addition, it’s essential to know which jurisdiction’s labor laws apply. This is often determined by the location of the company’s headquarters, but it can also be based on the jurisdiction where workers perform their job duties.
Another challenge with hiring remote workers is determining which benefits to offer. Whether to provide full-time or part-time benefits is complex, and it must be made carefully to comply with ACA and employer-shared responsibility regulations. It’s essential to consider the financial costs associated with each option and how these decisions might impact ALE status and other ACA reporting obligations.
Understanding how to measure employee hours and determine FTEs and ALE status accurately is also critical. Using a service provider experienced with measuring hours and calculating these metrics can help minimize the risk of costly penalties. In addition, it’s important to remember that some service providers are better than others at filing 1094 and 1095 forms, so make sure you’re working with a company that can handle all your compliance needs.
ACA reporting is one of the biggest headaches for many Applicable Large Employers (ALEs). ALEs must track and record employee status, benefits administration, variable hour employees, service breaks, unique leaves, change in wages, and more. These factors can affect the data that needs to be tracked and filed, which is why a unified system to track ACA compliance is so important.
ALEs must submit forms to the IRS and share copies with employees yearly. This is done using form 1095-C, “Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage,” or form 1095-B for self-insured employers. These reports are due each January, and errors can result in expensive fines.
It is also essential for ALEs to be aware that they may be dealing with HIPAA-protected Personal Health Information (PHI) when tracking and reporting ACA compliance. This is especially true if tracking and submitting ACA reporting is done manually. This requires additional safeguards and training to ensure workers properly handle PHI.
To avoid the pitfalls that can lead to costly mistakes in ACA compliance, it’s best to work with an experienced partner. A reputable provider of ACA compliance services can handle the entire process for you and provide tools that will help you keep up with deadlines, deliver accurate 1095-C forms to employees, and file them with the IRS.