The ACA and Employer Fines in 2016

Come 2016, the Affordable Care Act will put employers with more than 50 Full Time
Equivalent employees in a position where they must either offer these employees
robust and affordable health insurance benefits, or pay penalties to the tune
of thousands of dollars per individual. While many employers are not affected
by this legislation, certain employers and industries are being hit quite hard
and being forced to make serious decisions regarding their practices and
business models.

Industries such as food service, manufacturing, retail, warehousing, and others
that have large, low wage workforces have traditionally not extended health
insurance benefits to a large chunk of their employee populations. The ACA is
now putting these employers in a position in which they could potentially be
facing hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars in fines, or spend
similar amounts on developing robust and affordable health insurance programs
for this previously ineligible population.

Aspects of the law that have been overlooked by many of these employers allow
for creative and innovative solutions to mitigate this catastrophic issue.
Programs known as “Skinny Plans,” as well as minimum value and minimum
essential coverage plans could be the key in mitigating expense and liability,
while offering employees an opportunity to satisfy their own individual mandate
requirements set forth by the ACA.