For those employers who rely on Payroll Service bureaus to assist with payroll, you are in good hands. Within the last four years, payroll services have been put to task to keep you in compliance with economic stimulus measures like Make Work Pay, 2009 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act health insurance subsidy, The 2010 Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, and recently, healthcare reform under the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA). These do not include drastic hikes in unemployment rate changes, enforcement of wage and hour laws and a great deal of state wide changes like conforming to the Health Care Act (or not), and tax treatment for same sex couples.
• If you are an employer with 50 or more Full Time Equivalent Employees (FTE) you must calculate how many FTE’s you have by adding the monthly hours worked by part-time or seasonal employees and divide that by 120. Add this number to your count of FTE’s (working 130 hours or more in each month). You will now have your sum total of FTE’s. There will also be lookback periods assigned to this calculation from the prior year as well.
• Be informed within your state, as every state must have an operational exchange by January 1, 2014. If your state refuses to set up an exchange it will default to the federal exchange.
• If your business currently has a health plan for employees, know your “essential health benefits”. Your plan must include essentials such as Emergency and ambulatory services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use services including behavioral health treatment, rehabilitative and habilitative services, laboratory services, preventative (wellness) services, pediatric services including oral and vision care and a prescription drug plan.
• Be prepared for higher costs associated with market reforms and reporting requirements.