The healthcare program known as Obamacare is looming on the horizon and, despite its potential benefits for average Americans, it does pose concerns for employers.
During the AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference, Eddie Adkins of Grant Thornton and Cheryl Press of Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TEGE) at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) discussed compensation and employee benefits, including healthcare reform and issues attendant to it.
This can be especially troublesome regarding full-time and part-time employees. Adkins and Press reminded listeners that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has rules defining exactly who is and who is not a full-time employee, and those rules are complex.
They gave advice regarding being prepared for the regulations, and it can be summed up as: Take action now. Specifically, they said:
- Take time to thoroughly understand the details in the regulations. With complexity comes the chance of misunderstanding or misinterpreting. A few details could make a difference.
- Convene a meeting of all stakeholders, including individuals responsible for health plans inside and outside the organization. This includes the employee benefits director, the insurance broker and legal counsel.
- Discuss the details of the rules and how they apply to the organization, and identify changes that might be necessary to avoid mandated excise taxes.
- Follow through with proper implementation.