3 Things Small Businesses Should Know about ACA Compliance


September 10, 2021

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare as well as its acronym, the ACA) served as a watershed moment for healthcare in the US. Its aim was to make healthcare more accessible and affordable to all Americans. That being said, it also created a higher administrative burden for small businesses.

How can you reduce the burden of ACA compliance? Learning what you can about what is required is a good first step.


The Top Things You Need to Know about ACA for Small Businesses

  • Headcount requirements

  • ACA compliance requirements

  • The Small Business Health Options Program


Headcount Requirements

ACA for small businesses applies to companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees working over 30 hours a week on average. If you have fewer than 50 FTE employees who work over 30 hours a week on average, you don’t need to worry about ACA compliance, although you can choose to offer your employees insurance (provided it meets certain standards). On the other hand, if you do fit into that category, you’re obligated to provide affordable health insurance, offer a minimum acceptable healthcare plan, and file reports of the healthcare coverage provided.


ACA Compliance Requirements

Fulfilling ACA compliance requirements involves offering health insurance that covers at least 60% of the total allowed cost of benefits incurred under the plan. What happens if you don’t offer an appropriate level of coverage? You’ll pay the employer-shared responsibility payment to the IRS.


The ACA also has reporting requirements, including:

  • Withholding and reporting an additional 0.9% on wages or compensation over $200,000

  • Reporting the value of health insurance coverage on a W-2

  • Filing an annual return (Form 1094-C) that shows if you offered insurance, and what kind of coverage was offered

  • If you provide self-insured health coverage, you have to detail what you provide


The Small Business Health Options Program

Companies with under 50 FTEs who want to provide insurance to their employees can leverage the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). By enrolling in SHOP, you’re eligible to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to lower premium costs. If you choose to enroll in SHOP, you must inform your employees. You must also give employees a Summary of Benefits and Coverage, a form that explains what their healthcare plan covers and what it costs. Not distributing this form leads to penalties.


How SureCo Can Help

SureCo’s innovative digital health insurance marketplace offers employees an array of choices that meet their healthcare needs. These options meet ACA compliance requirements, so you don’t need to worry about penalties. Additionally, SureCo simplifies ACA reporting, reducing your administrative burden.


Meet ACA Compliance Requirements with SureCo

Offer your employees the affordable health insurance they need while making it simpler and faster to fulfill reporting requirements. SureCo’s digital marketplace helps you stay compliant with ACA requirements without creating extra work for you. Speak with a benefits expert today! 


Download SureCo's ICHRA Guide


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