Staffing Law Conf 400 x 200At last month’s Staffing Law Conference, one of the best-attended sessions was a panel discussion of the Employer Mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). What were the main takeaways for us?

As ASA’s main counsel Edward Lenz put it: “This law is not going away.” So the better-prepared we are for it, the less stressful the next few years will be—at least in terms of healthcare costs!

Currently, a proposal is floating through the House of Representatives to make the 30-hour work week classification for ACA full-time employees into 40 hours a week, but it’s unlikely to have any traction until after this fall’s elections, if at all. The most staffing firms can hope for would be an increase from 30 hours to 35 hours, but it’s best not to plan on that happening.

Another thing that’s still under construction in the ACA: the forms! COATS is prepared for whatever new or updated forms are released, but we ask your patience with all the updates until the forms are nailed down.

Chances are you’re a large employer, meaning you have 50 or more full-time employees (FTEs). This is determined on an annual basis, using this formula:

For each month in 2014, add the number of FTEs (who have worked at least 30 hours a week) to the number of “full-time equivalent” employees. How do you determine the number of full-time equivalents?  Add up the hours worked by non-full-time employees, then divide that number by 120.

Okay, so you’ve added your FTEs and FTE equivalents together for each month in 2014. Now divide it by 12 to get your official employee count. If it’s more than 50, you’ll be considered a Large Group Employer for 2015.

Sound complicated? Don’t worry! COATS just released an update for both SQL and Standard versions with a Large Employer calculator built in. If you’re a COATS user, you can download it from our Customers Only site. If not, schedule a demo to see how the Large Employer calculator works.

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