The Affordable Care Act: A Final Countdown

By Laura Schmitz, VP of Operations at Avionte Staffing Software


Well, it’s almost here; the day we knew would come.

The Affordable Care Act will officially kick in for employers in just 10 short weeks! Are you wondering what the heck you need to finish up before ACA compliance on 1/1/15 begins?

With the right planning, you should be able to start the year off without worries, and finish it with perfect compliance.


Avionte has put together a checklist to ensure your ACA success:

  • Make sure you have an employee communication plan for your Notice of Exchange, Summary of Benefits and FAQs if you are offering a plan. OSHA has been tasked with monitoring this part of compliance, so arm your staff with knowledge.
  • Make sure you have modified and updated your onboarding process to include making ACA determination of full-time or variable hour. Here are some questions to ask when making the determination:
    • Is the employee replacing an employee who is full-time or variable hour?
    • Do weekly hours of employees in similar positions vary above 30 hours and were work hours communicated? If yes, then full-time
    • Do assignments typically extend beyond 13 weeks?
      • If yes, then full-time
      • If no, then variable hour
    • Can employees in the same position reject assignments? Do they typically have periods of no assignments? Do assignment lengths vary?
      • If yes to all 3, then variable hour
      • If no to some, then full-time
    • Temp to perm positions are generally non-variable hour.
  • Have a means to audit ACA determinations to ensure the new process is being followed, and determine the timeframes to conduct these audits. I would recommend doing this weekly for the first few months and bi-weekly throughout the year.
  • Make sure you have added all service hour transaction types and that you are using them including FMLA, jury duty, military leave, etc. You will need this for your year-end IRS reporting in January, 2016.
  • Make sure you know who your full-time people are through 10/2/14, and start getting them enrolled for the 1/1/15 start date. Don’t forget to look back again and pick up the 10/3 – 12/31 folks who made full-time hours and get them offers too.
  • Solidify what your measurement period length will be for Initial and Standard, and stick to it in 2015.
  • Modify your process and put in place audits to ensure assignments are ended properly and with the right dates. This will be important, both for IRS reporting but also for COBRA.
  • Make sure your rehire process is within the regulations. You might as general practice define rehire after six months or one year, but ACA break in service rules are different, either 13 weeks or at least four weeks or longer than previous assignment.
  • Nail down what you are going to charge for ACA administration and extra cost. Communicate with your clients and be ready with new invoice surcharges or mark-ups. Don’t forget to take a look at contracts too and update accordingly to accommodate new ACA compliance items.

Avionte has created reporting, data capture, compliance and notification tools to ensure our users are fully prepared for ACA guidelines and changes. Contact us for more information about how our staffing software can ease your mind, and simplify your ACA processes, so your staff can focus on what’s important.

For more ACA-preparation help, click to view Series 1 and Series 2 of our ACA Process Training Webinars:

Laura Schmitz is the VP of Operations at Avionte.


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