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ACA Employee Mandate Here to Stay


By: Jennifer Black, Risk Advisor – Employee Benefits

February 4, 2015 – For many businesses, 2015 has brought back the Affordable Care Act employer mandate that was delayed in 2013. Now that we know the employer mandate is not going away, what does a business owner need to know in order to be compliant?

Starting in 2015, businesses that employ more than 100 full-time workers will be required to offer the health care coverage mandated by the government for 70 percent of its workers or face a penalty of $2,000 per employee less the first 80. In 2016, these businesses must cover 95 percent of their employees.

Likewise, small businesses that employ 50-99 full time workers are allowed one more year before they must also meet the employer mandate requirements or be forced to pay the penalty. This means 2015 will be a great year for these businesses to plan for the mandate. Businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers are exempt from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Some owners have been relieved to learn that they can offer employees plans that meet the minimum value test, but do not offer hospitalization. These are often referred to as “skinny plans”. Medical plans without hospitalization often do not require medical underwriting and can be up to 50 percent less expensive than traditional plans including hospitalization coverage. Unfortunately, administration has now come back and declared these plans will only be compliant for the 2015 calendar year, which means back to the drawing board for many companies to reach compliance in 2016.

As an employer, it is important that you know all of the facts when deciding which plan to choose for your employees and organization. It is imperative that whomever you are working with educates you on the options available to keep your business compliant and how those options will affect your bottom line. ACA guidelines are a moving target and definitions and guidelines can and will change. Each year, employers should review plans and rates with their broker to ensure compliance.

If you have any questions about how these changes affect you, or have any other ACA or employee benefits questions, please feel free to contact IBTX at 800.880.6689 or email us at

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