The big question on every employer’s mind these days is “how will my employees and my business be affected starting Jan. 1, 2014, when the majority of provisions of the Affordable Care Act come into play?”
For small employers, the impact will be nominal. Employers of less than 50 full-time and/or full-time-equivalent employees will not be required to provide health insurance for their employees, and they will not be charged a penalty.
Employers are anxious to know how they will be viewed by Federal law and if they will fall into the large employer category. The number of full-time employees you have will be key in determining if and to what extent an employer may be responsible for penalties under the Affordable Care Act.
A business with 50 or more full-time employees that does not offer adequate health insurance will be required to pay $2,000 per full-time employee. This penalty will not be charged on the first 30 full-time employees.
You may consider reducing work hours for your current full-time employees to bring you below the 50 full-time employee threshold. However, it’s not that easy.
Not only will full-time employees be considered, but also full-time-equivalent employees. So how do you calculate if you’re a large employer?
FTEs for Determining Applicable Large-Employer Status
The number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) for each calendar month in the preceding calendar year would be determined using the following steps:
- Calculate the aggregate number of hours of service (but not more than 120 hours of service for any employee) for all employees who were not full-time employees for that month.
- Divide the total hours of service in step (1) by 120. This is the number of FTEs for the calendar month.
Calculating the Number of Full-Time Employees
The steps in calculating the number of full-time employees in the preceding calendar year, and thus whether the employer is an applicable large employer for the current calendar year, would be as follows:
- Calculate the number of full-time employees (including seasonal employees) for each calendar month in the preceding calendar year.
- Calculate the number of FTEs (including seasonal employees) for each calendar month in the preceding calendar year (as described above).
- Add the number of full-time employees and FTEs calculated in steps (1) and (2) for each of the 12 months in the preceding calendar year.
- Add up the 12 monthly numbers in step (3) and divide the sum by 12. This is the average number of the employer’s FT employees for the preceding calendar year.
- If the number of FT employees in step (4) is less than 50, the employer is not an applicable large employer for the current calendar year.
As 2014 approaches, BCN Services will be evaluating your employee count and offering guidance in determining if you’re a large or small employer under the Affordable Care Act.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact your Partnership Manager or call 800-891-9911.
Amanda Cline, Partnership Manager