If You Are Unhappy About The Affordable Care Act, You Are Not Alone.

Lyndsey Barnett

While drinking my coffee this morning, I came across an article that states that American opinion of the ACA has hit an all-time low with 53% of Americans having an unfavorable view of the ACA. To be honest, at first I was surprised that the percentage was so low based on my every day dealings with explaining the law to clients and prospects. But then I realized that my perception was likely skewed as the conversations that I am generally having with employers about the ACA involve me telling them that they will have substantial new costs in complying with the ACA employer mandate and reporting rules. Even clients who already provide generous health benefits to their employees will likely experience increased costs in complying with the new 6055 and 6056 reporting requirements.    

For example, I met with a mid-size business last week that has always (or at least as far back as anyone can remember) provided a minimum value plan to its employees.  They charge the employees a very small portion of the premium and provide coverage to anyone working 25 or more hours a week. So at first glance, you would assume this employer would not have increased costs. Wrong. Due to the fact, that they have a decent amount of variable hour employees and many subsidiaries in the controlled group, the employer is faced with administrative difficulty in complying with the new 6056 reporting requirements. They are currently deciding whether to hire an additional person to help assist with tracking, purchase an expensive service for a vendor (with over a $10,000 startup fee and several thousand in costs to maintain the service each year), or drop the health plan altogether. The latter isn’t really a viable option because they need to attract and retain good talent. It is understandable that this employer is frustrated with the ACA and the new burden that is being placed upon them. I would be curious to see a poll of business owners or their HR directors who have to monitor compliance with this law to see the percentage of them whose view is unfavorable towards the ACA.