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Small businesses must be aware of their requirements under the ACA

As a small business owner, you want to do everything in your power to ensure your continued success. While much of this success will depend on the decisions made during your formation and the business strategies adopted going forward, it will also depend on your ability to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations -- local, state and federal.

For instance, small business owners need to be aware of the new requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care law signed into law by President Barack Obama back in March 2010.

As of January 1 2016, any company with 50 or more employees will be required to track multiple metrics in order to ensure compliance with the ACA, including the following:

  • How many hours employees work (health insurance must be offered to those employees averaging over 30 hours per week and their dependents).
  • How many absences employees accumulate.
  • How long employees are covered by health insurance.
  • How much is spent on insurance premiums (the government determines whether the coverage provided is affordable).  

Failure to abide by these requirements or provide the necessary insurance coverage could subject a small business owner to rather steep penalties, including large fines.

Given the fact that these reporting requirements will necessitate the complex undertaking of compiling data from separate payroll, attendance and benefit management software systems, and the managing of a formidable amount of paperwork, many small business owners could conceivably benefit by turning to third party firms to handle these matters.  

It will be interesting to see how the majority of small business owners choose to handle their new requirements under the ACA. Indeed, it serves to underscore how they simply cannot afford to rest on their laurels if they want their operations to thrive.

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